By Bridget Johnston || Layout Assistant
Beginning in June of 2016, Franklin & Marshall College will start construction for Shadek Stadium, a multipurpose facility that will be located on what is now Armstrong Fields behind the College Row Apartments. According to the projected timeline, the stadium will be open for use during the Fall of 2017.
According to David Proulx, F&M’s vice president for Finance and Administration and Treasurer, the facility is designed in order to “serve the entire college community.” Although it will mainly function as home field for football, and men’s and women’s lacrosse, it will also be equipped in order to host men’s and women’s soccer matches as well. In addition, the facilities will be open to several intermural and club sports, as well as being available for activities such as large-scale movie screenings and concerts.
The preparations for the stadium began several years ago, when the college selected HKS as the architect for the project. The company has extensive experience in designing and building athletic stadiums, including their work with the Philadelphia Eagles’ and Dallas Cowboys’ stadiums, among numerous others.
For the Shadek Stadium, their design includes, “improved seating and playing surface, environmentally friendly design, congregation spaces for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the public, and adequate spaces for the student-athletes and the staff to prepare for and participate in events,” says Proulx.
The project was initially put into motion by a generous $5 million donation from Trustee Larry Shadek ’72 and the Shadek Family Foundation. From there, the college began further fundraising in order to cover the costs of construction. Currently, there have been over 250 donors, with their gifts totaling to roughly $10.4 milion in support of the stadium. Many of the donors who made the project possible are alumni athletes or parents of current student-athletes.
Proulx goes on to explain that since 2005, F&M has hoped to transform Armstrong fields into “an athletics precinct that would have the stadium, baseball and softball fields, tract, etc. developed over a long period of time.” By constructing Shadek Stadium, the college also intends to reduce overuse of current facilities, such as Tylus Field, along with eventually opening up what is currently Williamson Field for a new academic facility and additional green space.
Although the stadium will take up a portion of the Armstrong Field property, upon its completion in Fall 2017 there will still be remaining fields open for use.
Sophomore Bridget Johnston is a layout assistant. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.