Athletic Facility Upgrades
A new era in Albion College athletics will begin following completion of major improvements planned for Alumni Field. Fundraising is now under way in support of these renovations to the College’s outdoor athletic facilities.
Expected to cost more than $3 million, the upgrades include the construction of a soccer/lacrosse competition facility, the relocation of softball's Dempsey Field to the southeast corner of Alumni Field, and the reconfiguration of baseball's Frank Joranko Field. Also planned are a new entrance to Alumni Field, serving as a gateway to the entire complex, and a centrally located outdoor plaza that will offer a gathering space for players and fans.
“These changes will contribute importantly to winning league championships and gaining broader recognition for Albion’s varsity programs,” said Matt Arend, director of athletics. “They will also demonstrate in a highly visible way that the College is committed to our student-athletes—we intend to provide them with the facilities needed to help them succeed at a very high level.”
These projects represent a continuation of improvements that began in summer 2011 with the installation of artificial turf on the football field, the resurfacing of the Elkin Isaac Track, and construction of new runways and landing pits for the jumping events at Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium, as well as new cages for the discus and hammer and a launch area for javelin throwing events at Alumni Field.
A Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament capped Albion’s first football season played on the new turf at Schmidt-Fraser Field. The additional improvements will impact not only student-athletes but all students as teams make use of more all-season outdoor facilities at Alumni Field.
"Continuing to invest in our athletic facilities will benefit the entire campus community by alleviating the pressure for open recreation periods in the Dow Recreation and Wellness Center," Arend said. "We have seen this winter how teams can make use of the artificial turf inside Sprankle-Sprandel Stadium in January and February, and this will only increase with the addition of another turf field."
“In implementing the College’s master plan for the campus, the Board of Trustees has given full support to the athletic facilities upgrades,” observed President Donna Randall. “We have completed significant renovations in our academic buildings over the past decade. Now it’s time for us to turn our attention to our athletic facilities.”
Participation Is Critical in the Fundraising Drive
Gifts from alumni, parents, and friends will be critical to the success of the current fundraising drive.
“We are asking former Briton athletes and others who care about the future of Albion’s intercollegiate programs to take the next step,” Arend said, “and invest in these projects that are so essential to the advancement of our competitive sports tradition. We welcome everyone’s involvement at this important time.”