Track and Field of Dreams:
a Priority of the Campaign for Mount Holyoke
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October of 2007, Mount Holyoke debuted its new track
and field facility, a priority of the $300 million
Campaign for Mount Holyoke. Athletes and coaches are
already reaping the bnefits of this new state of the
art facility. Field and track coach Christine Lee said
seeing her team practice has been "a dream."
“I can see so much momentum and energy,” Lee
said. “We have a good, well-marked surface, and
practicing is such an easy experience now."
The synthetic multipurpose turf field with lights
is surrounded by an eight-lane track with a nine-lane
straightaway; it is the first part of a new $5.9 million
Department of Physical Education and Athletics facility.
With the new track, Mount Holyoke will be able to host
a meet for the first time since 1996 in April, Lee
"This was much needed," said cross-country
team member Kiri-Lin MacGregor '09. "I'm looking
forward to seeing how this will help us reach our potential
as a team. It's a great opportunity for the team and
Natalie Martin '08, a member of both the cross-country
and track teams, said the new facilities will be an
asset in recruiting scholar-athletes to Mount Holyoke
and in keeping current and future athletes in top shape.
"This will help in bringing the best athletes
to Mount Holyoke. When they look at us in comparison
to our peers, now our fields are the superior ones," she
said. "The old tracks were worn and uneven, but
running on the new tracks is decreasing injuries and
wear and tear on our legs."
Expected to be used primarily for field hockey, lacrosse,
and soccer, the synthetic turf field will serve a variety
of purposes. The addition of lights is making it possible
for teams to practice and play during the late afternoon
and early evening hours. The synthetic turf will give
Mount Holyoke teams a competitive advantage because
it can be used for a longer season and in more inclement
weather than a natural grass field. The complex replaced
an existing practice field at the eastern end of the
outdoor playing fields at Woodbridge Street, Silver
Street, and Dunlap Place.
Mount Holyoke also added lights to an existing grass
playing field and is working towards the renovation
of another field to accommodate rugby. With the expanded
and improved outdoor facilities, the College looks
forward to hosting NCAA and NEWMAC competitions in
the near future. Construction of the project began
in late spring and is expected to be wrapped up in
the coming weeks.
With the outdoor facilities now in the final stages
of development, major improvements to the Kendall Sports
and Dance Complex will soon begin. Last year, Mount
Holyoke students, faculty, staff and alumnae used Kendall
101,169 times. Renovations will result in a state-of-the-art
fitness facility to meet the complete fitness needs
of the College community. A consolidated dance department
with new practice studios will also be created.
The current dance practice studios will be converted
into an exercise facility and new dance studios will
be built contiguous to the current dance performance
space on the south side of the complex. The new exercise
facility will have a prime location on the main corridor
as well as large windows, skylights, and glass walls
to showcase the space. Also included in the renovation
is an expanded lobby. The $7.6 million project will
be constructed in stages due to the heavy usage of
Kendall during the academic year.
A modernized boathouse for the crew team is the final
piece of the athletic facility update. The boathouse
will be built on the Connecticut River. It will provide
space for the crew athletes as well as increased indoor
storage space for the entire fleet. No timetable has
been set for this $2.1 million project.
With 325 varsity athletes and 230 competitive club
athletes, Mount Holyoke is committed to supporting
its athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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