Performing the ceremonial groundbreaking are (from left): student Lauren Coe, Vice President of Advancement Mitch Blonde, Athletic Director Fred Smith, Senior Vice President of Business and Finance Lee Johnson, Board of Trustee member Frank Johnson, Board of Trustee member Stephanie Hickman Boyse, Board of Trustee member Dr. Mike Dawson, President Sister Peg Albert, Dean for Students Trudy McSorley, Board of Trustee member Scott Hill of Krieghoff-Lenawee, and Paul Hollenbeck of The Collaborative Group. To view a photo slideshow of the event, please click here or on the photo above.
Siena Heights University broke ground on a multimillion dollar outdoor performance stadium during a special ceremony July 13 near the proposed site.
With shovels in hand, SHU President Sister Peg Albert, OP, PhD, along with members of SHU’s administration and other special guests conducted the ceremonial groundbreaking for the facility that will serve as a home field for several Saints athletic programs, including soccer, lacrosse, track and field and newly announced football.
The stadium site will be located on the current baseball field off Oakwood Road. With construction planned to begin in August 2010, a targeted completion date is the fall of 2011.
“Siena’s most prized possession, our students, will play on this field,” said President Albert during the ceremony. “As I’ve stated many times before, it’s not about buildings and stadiums, it’s about people and how we can influence young people in positive ways. Today is a day of celebration and deep, deep gratitude. There are so many to thank who have brought us to this moment.”
President Albert announced the playing field will be named Mike and Lynne Dawson Field after the longtime SHU benefactors. Mike is a current member of the SHU Board of Trustees while his late wife, Lynne, was a longtime SHU supporter until her passing in 2009.
Also, thanks to a generous donation from benefactor Mary Spencer, President Albert announced the stadium facility would be named O’Laughlin Stadium after 1958 Siena Heights graduate and Adrian Dominican Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin.
Besides the artificial surface playing surface, a running track will circle the field. The stadium will also have bleachers to seat approximately 1,500 fans and there are plans to include additional parking and a concessions area.
A second phase of the project may also include the construction of an athletic complex near the stadium. That timetable has not yet been established.