The Georgian Court University Lions marked another milestone this week as work began on GCU’s field turf complex. The project consists of a 103,917 square-foot conversion of the current soccer and lacrosse grass field, and is considered an investment in the university’s growth.
“The new turf field brings exciting opportunities to Georgian Court,” said GCU President Rosemary E. Jeffries, RSM, Ph.D. “The GCU Lions have a rich history of record-breaking seasons and competitive championships among our women’s team, and with the continued transition to include men’s sports, the turf field will be a definite asset for all student-athletes.”
GCU, which is building a men’s lacrosse team in time for the spring 2016 season, will benefit in many ways. Mickey Hover, most recently of Immaculata University (Pa.), is GCU’s first men’s lacrosse coach. He joined women’s lacrosse coach Kerry O’Donnell, women’s soccer coach Jim Moore, and men’s soccer coach Dino Raso at the groundbreaking.
“A turf field is a tremendous incentive when it comes to the recruitment of collegiate soccer and lacrosse student-athletes,” said GCU Director of Athletics and Recreation Laura B. Liesman. “The new field will be a welcomed addition to the Georgian Court campus and the top quality athletic venues that we currently provide. It was crucial to develop a playing surface that can withstand the year-round rigors of our NCAA Division II men’s and women’s soccer and lacrosse squads, as well as the unpredictable offerings of Mother Nature.”
The university also expects the turf field to improve scheduling consistency. In previous seasons, teams have lost practice and playing days because of heavy snow or rain-soaked fields. As New Jersey winters sometime drag into early spring, coaches have even run drills in the parking lot to make up for lost practice time
Manasquan-based Suburban Consulting Engineers, and FieldTurf of Auburn Hills, Mich., are managing the estimated $700,000 installation; completion is expected by late summer.