Construction continues on Alumni Field
Alumni Field, located between the science building and the Athletic Complex on the Waterloo campus, has been under construction since the summer.
“It is a complete overhaul of the previous field,” Kate McCrae Bristol, acting director of Athletics and Recreation, said.
“The footprint is significantly larger than previous, and it’s baked into the Campus Master Plan, which has a goal of creating more pedestrian-friendly walkways throughout the core of campus.”
The previous field was not regulation size for any of the sports played on campus, so the new Alumni Field is an opportunity for Laurier to have a FIFA-regulated size soccer pitch.
“It will be large enough to allow us to meet all our recreational and intramural needs for all of our students,” McCrae Bristol said
Furthermore, the field is set to have spectator areas with seating for students and will be an open space for community events.
“It gives us the opportunity to host other types of events on the space because we’ll have the proper infrastructure to be able to do that sort of thing,” she said.
The new scoreboard currently being installed will be large enough to be seen from all over the field.
During the process of the new field being set up, the Science Building parking lot has lost a few rows of parking spaces, which has sparked irritation among students.
“I certainly understand that losing parking spaces can be a frustration for students, staff and faculty. I think in this particular situation, we’ve actually removed very few,” McCrae Bristol said.
“…It really is about fitting into the campus-wide master plan, which is aiming to make the interior of campus a pedestrian-safe and pedestrian-friendly zone.”
Alumni Field is meant to be a welcoming space in the middle of campus for students to go to, and McCrae Bristol emphasized the importance of safety around the field.
“There are considerations around putting that type of facility in the middle of a campus or surrounded with parking around safety and vehicle safety of people walking to and from the field, balls flying, equipment being traced in and out, that were also part of considerations around what’s safest for our students and vehicle owners who are parked right beside the facility,” she explained.
The goal is for the field to be open in November, but this could be pushed back due to the supply chain shortages post-COVID-19.
“We’ll wait until the absolute safest moment to be able to open it without sacrificing some of the other infrastructure pieces, so it may look ready, but we’re going to make sure it’s totally ready for use with no issues,” McCrae Bristol said.
McCrae Bristol said the field is an exciting opportunity for students to have access to a new facility to care for their wellness, while their navigation of campus is safe and pleasant.