Construction begins on new indoor turf facility

Construction workers work on a new indoor practice facility on Stony Brook University's campus on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The facility is designed for outdoor sports to be able to continue practicing even in inclement weather, according to Associate Athletic Director Adam McLeod. The facility is due to be complete in December 2019. Photo by Kiana Wright.
Construction workers work on a new indoor practice facility on Stony Brook University’s campus on Thursday, July 25, 2019. The facility is designed for outdoor sports to be able to continue practicing even in inclement weather, according to Associate Athletics Director Adam McLeod. The facility is due to be complete in December 2019. (Photo by Kiana Wright)

In another step toward being among the elite, Stony Brook Athletics marshaled the construction of a new indoor turf facility to accommodate all outdoor teams year-round.

The 65-foot-high indoor facility will have 80 yards of turf, including the end zones. It will be the same type of turf that is used in LaValle Stadium. The facility will also have 360-degree netting, a scoreboard and a dropdown net at center field. This will allow the facility to be split into two separate areas for simultaneous practices. It will be available to all Stony Brook outdoor teams, such as football, lacrosse and soccer.

This facility is a part of a five-year plan initiated by Director of Athletics Shawn Heilbron. He and the rest of the athletics department recognized that championship facilities are key in creating elite-level programs.

“We need to show our athletes that we’re serious about competitive success, and this facility definitely shows that,” Heilbron said.

This facility appeals to not only current student athletes, but also those Stony Brook is trying to recruit.

Even though Stony Brook has been a part of NCAA Division I athletics since 2009, the program had previous projects to accomplish. LaValle Stadium and the Island Federal Credit Union Arena were both a part of the massive additions made to Seawolves athletics.

“This is another step in that process, so we had to raise the money. We really had to make sure that we had all our facilities in line in terms of priority,” Heilbron said. “We have a lot of projects on the horizon, but this was just a big one at this point in time.”

The facility would not have been possible without the $5 million contribution from the Dubin family, which covered half the costs. Glenn (Stony Brook ‘78, ‘12), along with his wife Eva, has been a key player in the advancement of Stony Brook Athletics.

His first gift for the Seawolves was the Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center, located inside the Indoor Sports Complex.

“At the time, our athletes were working out in a very much non-college athletic environment,” said Adam McLeod, associate athletics director. “Moving them into the weight room that Dubin was able to provide was tremendous for us.”

Renderings show the completed indoor athletic practice facility at Stony Brook University that is due to be finished by 2020. The facility is designed for outdoor sports to be able to continue practicing even in inclement weather, according to Associate Athletic Director Adam McLeod. The facility is due to be complete in December 2019. Photo by Yaw Bonsu.
Renderings show the completed indoor athletic practice facility at Stony Brook University that is due to be finished by 2020. The facility is designed for outdoor sports to be able to continue practicing even in inclement weather, according to Associate Athletics Director Adam McLeod. The facility is due to be complete in December 2019. (Courtesy of Rafael Viñoly Architects)

The new facility addresses a significant problem for the outdoor teams.

“Anytime we are out in the elements, snow, rain … it really hampers our ability to train,” McLeod, said. “Anytime it snows, it pretty much shuts down operations … so having this facility will really give us an advantage against other teams.”

For sports such as football, this facility allows skill position players to work on their game on a much deeper level.

“We will be able to run more routes. We need more room,” said Carter McCarthy, tight end for Stony Brook Football. “Receivers need 50 yards of field to run a go route while a lineman needs 10 yards … .”

As for the future, both athletes and staff are hoping for more upgrades.

“The new locker would be nice to have for sure,” McCarthy said. “The sound system isn’t the best. I need a new sound system.”

The staff would like to see another five-year plan because Heilbron wants to compete with schools such as Ohio State, Texas and Michigan.

“Our goal is to compete nationally,” he said. “We are serious about continued growth and continued success.”

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