Extreme Makeover: Alumni Stadium Edition
By Lauren Spain
Kean University reconstructed its home field at Alumni Stadium, located behind Harwood arena, over the summer. The project consisted of replacing the turf field as well as the track. Not only was the Alumni Stadium completely renovated, but the Jim Hynes baseball field and the softball field also received lights, allowing teams to participate in night games come spring.
The lights on the baseball and softball field were supposed to be completed last fall; however, due to inclement weather the installation was postponed. Ideas for renovations were talked about within the athletic department for the past two years, but major planning and remodeling was completed within six months, said Athletic Director Chris Morgan.
“The condition of the surfaces was the major reason,” Morgan said. “It was completed during the summer months to make sure it had the least amount of impact on the Kean students.”
Physical demolition and reconstruction began in May and was completed in August before the preseason schedule began for fall sports. The turf, which is used by football, soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, intramural sports and gym classes, was restored, along with the track surrounding it.
“Since the track receives so much use, we wanted to make sure to continue to provide that opportunity for our students,” Morgan said.
No teams or any part of the athletic department suffered any budget cuts due to the reconstruction of Alumni Stadium, said Morgan. All funding for the stadium was separate from the rest of the athletic department. Student athletes say they are pleased with the outcome of the reconstruction and feel that it is another asset to Kean University in its entirety.
“It benefits Kean because the rest of our facilities are so nice and now our stadium compliments athletics here,” said senior women’s lacrosse player Kelli Higgins. “I love it.”
Other athletes mentioned how the changes will impact the way Kean is seen by opposing teams. “Because so many sports utilize the field it benefits so many athletes,” said Jaclyn Boselli, a junior on the women’s soccer team. “For the university, I think it makes Kean so much more professional, and when away teams come to our home field we look top-notch.”