Trent University Board of Governors Approves Athletics Expansion Business Plan for Project's First Phase
Design for phase one of the project to begin immediately, construction to start this spring
On the heels of tremendous student support for the expansion of athletic facilities at Trent University, its Board of Governors today unanimously approved the phase one business plan, allowing detailed designs for the first part of the project to begin. Construction of the new field facilities will follow in the spring.
The Board of Governors last summer approved the Athletics Master Plan in principle, pending acceptance of the business plan. The Board has fully endorsed phase one of the project, which will not only benefit the Trent athletics program, but also through partnership, the community at-large.
Phase one of the project includes construction of a stadium with artificial turf, lighting, and bleacher seating for 1,000 on the West Bank of the Symons Campus. Adjacent to the Athletics Complex and close to the stadium will be a multi-purpose pavilion. On the East Bank, two natural turf fields and a softball diamond will be constructed and an outdoor recreation area with equipment will be developed.
"We are absolutely thrilled by the Board's endorsement of an incredibly exciting plan for the future," says Athletics Director Bill Byrick. "The strength of this project is the collaboration and consultation at its very core. This is a grassroots initiative that has, since the beginning, involved hundreds of individuals, their input and their ideas. What Trent will have are the facilities to best serve students, community members and community partners and still be financially viable in the long term."
The expansion plan is based on two years of input, research and planning involving students, student clubs and groups, Trent committees, community sport organizations and the community at-large. Most recently a group of students, staff and community members visited artificial turf stadiums at several Ontario universities as part of the expansion plan research. And in an October 2004 referendum, 87 per cent of the students who voted, supported the expansion of athletic facilities at Trent. They agreed that all full-time undergraduate students will pay $50 per year for an undetermined period of time to fund the athletics expansion project. Students will pay their first levy in fall 2005 and reap the benefits of phase one that same year.
The direction of the athletics expansion was also based on the potential to generate revenue and offset ongoing operating costs through community use of athletic facilities. Trent Athletics operates as an ancillary operation to the University; it is responsible for paying its capital and operating costs through its own revenue sources.
"The business plan has been developed in order to ensure that Trent Athletics can both afford to build the facilities, as well as operate them for the long term. It is critical that the new facilities be sustainable," says Mr. Byrick.
Trent Athletics has developed partnerships with a number of regional sport organizations including Peterborough Rugby Football Club, Peterborough Rowing Club, Trent Swim Club, Kawartha Synchro Club, and is in discussion with Peterborough Youth Soccer and Peterborough City Soccer in order to help facilitate the development of various sport programs.
These partnerships will not only help to fund and in some cases, construct the facilities, they will also see the strengthening the overall sport model in the community, creating win-win opportunities, says Mr. Byrick.
"What we will see, resulting from this array of partnerships is improved facilities, coaching expertise and athlete development for both Trent and the community."
Posted November 26, 2004