By Carlo Valladares
In Nov. 2013, the Village of Old Brookville’s zoning board approved the construction permit to start building LIU Post’s new stadium facility. The permit approval process has delayed the building of Post’s new stadium since Aug. 2012, when the school planned to start the renovation. The zoning board is no longer skeptical about the height requirements and the noise factor, according to Bryan Collins, the director of Athletics & Recreation and head Football coach of the Pioneers.
Before the official renovations started, a concept needed to be illustrated. “There is a conceptual phase that you go through to get a sense of what your goals are. You then go through a process of selecting an architect, then the detail design process, the bidding process and finally the construction phase,” said William Kirker, director of LIU Post’s Facilities department.
The first stage of construction began on Nov. 18. “The first phase was to tear down this side of the bleachers, [home side, closest to Pratt],” Collins said. “It will seat about 3,600 on the home side.”
The new seating renovations on the home side will be completed by the end of April through the first week of May, according to Collins. Soon after the home side is finished, construction will begin on the fencing and landscaping. In addition, the press box will contain two areas for filming and VIP seating. With work starting in the summer months, the walkway and press box will be completed by Fall 2014. Although the whole stadium will not be completed by the fall, spectators will be able to sit in the newly renovated home seating area for the 2014 football season.
Collins and the Athletic department started a fundraising campaign in order to meet the estimated stadium price of slightly more than four million dollars. The fundraiser is called the Pioneer Spirit Campaign, and has attracted alumni and corporate support. “We have raised over two and a half million dollars,” Collins said. “The majority of the funds raised were through our alumni.”
In November, the university promised it would cover the rest of the estimated expenses, and discussions took place about the possibility that the naming rights could be sold to a corporate entity. “Right now, we’re currently in the process of securing a corporate sponsorship in order to meet that final mark,” Collins added. An announcement, according to Collins, will be made on March 26 with regard to a corporate sponsorship being secured. However, Collins stated he has no knowledge of the specific sponsor.
The old stadium that was built in 1960 was falling apart, according to Collins. “The condition of the stadium is not up to code. There are areas where you can slip through with the rusting, and that was a main concern for the university,” he added.
“Stony Brook built a beautiful stadium, Hofstra built a beautiful stadium, Adelphi built a new stadium; it’s about keeping up,” he said.
“The new stadium has been a long time coming, when you think back on when we started discussions, and all the work our student athletes did to get the administration on board and move forward,” he added.
“It’s nice to see changes on campus, not only here, but to walk into Hillwood Commons and to walk into the library and see all the change,” Collins said.