Golden Romney Field House reopened to limited spring practices as work wrapped up on a $2 million project to breathe new athletic life into the college’s former ice hockey home.
“It’s a transformation,” said Nicholas Lyons, vice president for administration and finance.
Men’s and women’s spring sports teams—from lacrosse to track and field, from baseball to softball—worked out on the state-of-the-art, dual-surface flooring, illuminated by new energy-efficient lighting.
The field house opened in 1963 as the first ice rink in the SUNY system, serving as the college’s ice hockey home for more than 40 years until the 2006-07 season.
Now, the Athletic Department points with pride to the Rekortan M99 synthetic track surface: four lanes of new 200-meter track over an elastic layer, plus outer-corner installations for the long-jump pit, the pole vault and more.
There is a smooth transition from the track to the FieldTurf infield, a surface designed for safety and endurance. The infield is marked off for four tennis courts and, with the addition of temporary lines, can be available for field events and lacrosse and soccer practices. From the ceiling hangs netting that can bisect the infield so that side-by-side practices can take place.
Then there’s the ceiling-mounted, electrically lowered baseball “cage,” a netted, tunnel-like structure, subdivided to accommodate batting practice and pitcher-catcher workouts at the same time.
It’s an amazing building. It’s really designed to be a state-of-the-art, multipurpose practice facility.
“Providing a top-notch practice facility for many different sports has been the central goal for the project,” Lyons said, in part because the track and the turf field are not regulation size and the field house is no longer intended for NCAA competition.
The impact of the Romney revitalization on Oswego’s ability to recruit Division III student-athletes for outdoor sports is significant. It’s all about curb appeal and feeling good about where you are spending your time.
Bob Lloyd ’81 M’89 of the college’s Facilities Design and Construction department is the Romney renovation project coordinator with general contractor Diamond & Thiel Construction Inc., working from the Clough Harbor Associates design. The campus has, for the money, unveiled a gem, he said.
“I think we got a lot of bang for our buck,” Lloyd said. “The place was really transformed into a nice, usable facility.”
—Jeff Rea ’71