Penn State Altoona Advisory Board commits $250,000 for turf field
ALTOONA – The Penn State Altoona advisory board has committed $250,000 to help fund installation of an artificial turf field at Spring Run Stadium on campus.
The artificial turf will positively impact programming and scheduling for numerous entities, including varsity athletics, club sports, intramural sports, kinesiology classes, student recreation, Student Affairs-related functions, and community activities.
The gift is the second from the board in support of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, the University-wide capital campaign. A previous $250,000 donation supported the purchase of forty-seven acres near the campus to accommodate instructional, research and extracurricular activities revolving around the unique characteristics of the property.
“These gifts are in keeping with the advisory board’s mission to enhance the student experience, the development of the campus, and the quality of life in our community,” said campus Chancellor Lori J. Bechtel-Wherry. “For seven decades, the board has advanced a vision that enables Penn State Altoona to keep pace with the ever-changing needs of those we serve. Once again, the board’s philanthropy will create opportunity, fulfill a vital need, accentuate developmental experiences for our students, and enhance the quality of life for many who study, work, and live in our region.”
Artificial turf will ensure that varsity soccer games are played as scheduled, despite inclement weather. Also, the baseball and softball teams will have the flexibility to schedule early spring practices on the turf field rather than in Adler Gym. At present, the soccer teams practice on the intramural and baseball grass fields at varying times, contributing further to the deterioration of those surfaces. Fewer practices in Adler Gym by the baseball, softball, and club teams will create more open gym time.
The need to preserve the condition of the soccer and baseball fields for varsity competition has precluded use by club and intramural teams at designated periods during the academic year. An artificial turf field will substantially expand access to intramural, club, and recreational sports.
Another significant benefit is the projected cost savings over time. According to industry estimates, the cost of maintaining artificial turf is less than half the cost of maintaining a natural grass field of the same size.
Since the founding of Penn State Altoona in 1939, distinguished community leaders have worked tirelessly alongside University administrators to raise funds that have been absolutely essential for growth and expansion, Bechtel-Wherry noted.
“The advisory board’s guidance and philanthropic efforts have helped to create the margin of excellence that characterizes Penn State Altoona,” she said. “From involvement in capital campaigns to sponsorship of special events that raise funds for a host of programs, the board has always taken a lead role in advancing the philanthropic interests of the campus. I express sincere thanks to all members of the board for this generous gift and their unwavering support.”