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Level Playing Field: Georgian Court Breaks Ground on New Turf

Georgian Court University turf field

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.

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Georgian Court University is a leading regional university that provides a transformative education, preparing students for ethical leadership and service in the Catholic Mercy tradition. Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. The university has a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women.

As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 1,900 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings.

The main campus is in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students through its Center for Professional Studies, and at other locations, including GCU at Brookdale, GCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online degree and certificate programs.