Groundbreaking for Beach Volleyball and Wildlife Sanctuary
September 19, 2022 - 09:21 AM
Ground was broken on a construction project that will add a new Athletics facility, as well as give better access to the Biology Department’s “outdoor classroom”.
The asphalt has been removed, equipment brought in, and the construction is ready to begin. The Planning and Development Department collaborated with Athletics and the Natural Science Division to work on the project jointly.
This new project will incorporate five elements:
- A Beach Volleyball facility with six courts (double the current facility)
- An entrance to the Wildlife Sanctuary
- Bathrooms and showers for use by athletes, guests, and those using the Sanctuary
- A new main entrance for the Soccer field.
- A drive lane that will take students from Temple Ave., through the south part of campus, and over to all the new Athletics facilities at Bonita Ave.
The groundbreaking was held at the project site in Lot W, which is now permanently closed. Facilities Project Manager John Gaston said that all the facilities are expected to open by September 2023.
Kinesiology Dean and Athletic Director Joe Jennum said the new six championship-level volleyball courts will greatly enhance the attractiveness of the Beach Volleyball team for recruitment. In addition, the new soccer entrance and restrooms will be an overall boon to Athletics.
“Our soccer program has been in dire need of a restroom on this end of the field,” Jennum said. “And for Beach Volleyball, our team has been using three temporary courts that our facilities department built several years ago.”
Beach Volleyball coach Danielle Diaz said doubling the number of courts will make the college’s events run much quicker and smoother.
“It will make competition days go so much faster, and we will now be able to host multiple schools on the same day,” Diaz said.
“Not only is our team excited to be playing on these new courts,” she said, “but the Indoor Volleyball team, at around the same time, will have its brand new gym open in the upcoming Gym & Aquatics Center.”
The entrance to the Wildlife Sanctuary, meanwhile, will feature a lanai, a roofed and open-sided patio that is common in Hawaii. Biology professor Mark Cooper said that the entrance will have restrooms and outdoor showers, which will be used by the soccer and volleyball teams.
“It’s difficult now, because we use the Sanctuary as an outdoor biology classroom,” Cooper explained. “And if a student needs to use the restroom, we have to walk them back to the main campus. So, this will make classes out here much easier.”
Cooper, who runs the Sanctuary along with Biology Professor Tyler Flisik, indicated that the entrance will also provide a gathering point for the Sanctuary.
“Right now, it’s like ‘meet me at my car in the parking lot’, since we have no main entrance,” Cooper said.
The Biology Department is also hoping that in the future there will be an on-site staff person with regular hours so students and the community can get tours.
“There’s something called NDD that students suffer from: Nature Deficit Disorder,” explained Cooper “They just don’t get outside enough. We’re hoping we can fill that need and get them to appreciate nature.”
The project is funded by the Measure RR and Measure GO construction bonds approved by voters. For more information, please visit the Campus Construction website.