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Facilities on the Rise

Although winter has finally arrived in Hanover, work continues on a number of important athletics facilities projects.

Floren Varsity House
The change of seasons has moved work indoors, but Floren Varsity House continues on schedule. (Photo by Kathy Phillips)

Construction of the Floren Varsity House named for Douglas C. Floren '63 and his family, who contributed $10 million towards the project, is on track and moving ahead. The exterior brickwork and east-side windows are in place, and work on the interior of the building, with rough framing and drywall, is now underway. Installation of major mechanical systems is scheduled for the spring. Also still to come is the completion of the east stands of Memorial Field, expected to be finished by August.

Occupancy of the building, which will include a 10,000-square-foot varsity strength-training center, offices, meeting rooms, and locker and training rooms, is expected in early November.

While Floren is the most current visible project on the Dartmouth athletic landscape, two other major athletic projects continue on a bit more quietly. Planning continues for the Burnham Field soccer facility and the renovation of the Red Rolfe Field baseball facility.

The Burnham project recently received site plan approval from the Hanover Planning Board, and formal groundbreaking is expected in the spring. Burnham Field, named in honor of former men's soccer and lacrosse coach Alden H. "Whitey" Burnham '46A is supported by a $4.5 million gift from Stanley Smoyer '34. It will feature a top-quality natural-grass pitch, permanent seating for 1,600 spectators, a press box, field lighting, scoreboard, space for concessions, and a sloped berm on three sides for additional spectators. An adjacent facility will house public restrooms and locker rooms. Burnham Field is expected to be ready for play this fall, with completion of the support facility in early 2008.

Red Rolfe Field, home of the Dartmouth baseball team, is also scheduled for a major renovation. Now in the preliminary planning stages, the project's top priority is the resurfacing of the playing field, replacing natural grass with FieldTurf similar to that on Memorial Field. "As traditional as we are about baseball, we have to be realistic about our northern New England climate," says Deputy Director of Athletics Robert Ceplikas '78, who notes that in recent years a number of early season games have been cancelled or moved off campus due to poor field conditions. Other aspects of the project include improvements to fan seating, new fencing, renovated dugouts and bullpens, and a new scoreboard.

Adds Baseball Coach Bob Whalen: "We are grateful to President Wright and the athletic administration for having this vision of first-rate athletic facilities that are consistent with the overall excellence of Dartmouth."

By RICK ADAMS

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Last Updated: 5/30/08