BBS News

Construction Begins on a New Athletic Field Complex at SUNY Westchester College

Valhalla, NY – BBS Architects, Landscape Architects and Engineers began construction and improvement work at the athletic fields and connecting roadways at the State University of New York Westchester Community College (WCC).

Located in Valhalla, N.Y., the fields will serve recreational, physical education, and competitive sports training needs of the college’s more than 24,000 full-time, part-time, and continuing education students. WCC facilities include the 218-acre main campus in Valhalla as well as extension sites in New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Yonkers, Shrub Oak, Mahopac, Ossining, Port Chester, Peekskill, and White Plains.

According to BBS President and Principal Architect, Roger P. Smith, AIA, LEED AP, “Following previous successful collaborations, SUNY Westchester Community College retained BBS’ landscape architecture and civil engineering division to design the $2.5-million improvements to the West Fields, Barrett Field, related buildings, and pedestrian and vehicular roadways.”

“The West Fields include a 3.7-acre baseball field and a 3-acre softball and soccer field. Improvements in this section will encompass re-configuration of the lower baseball field to provide a proper solar orientation; natural turf repairs; construction of a new backstop, player dugouts, a 24’ by 8’ Nevco model 1506 baseball scoreboard, and an automatic irrigation system; re-grading of the field; and installation of a new under-drainage system to improve stormwater retention and dissipation,” explained BBS Vice President and co-head of Site Planning and Design Group Curt T. Coronato, RLA, ASLA, CPSI.

The baseball field will be completely re-constructed to meet the current NCAA standards. The new field will feature a new backstop, dugouts, bullpens, warning tracks, and perimeter fencing.  The baseball field and the infield will also receive a new drainage system.  The existing natural turf will be replaced with grass sod rolled out on a new sand and compost base to allow the field to return to use shortly following the construction.

“BBS designed a new multi-purpose, 1,000-sq.-ft. building, which will house a concession stand, bathrooms, and utility rooms on the first floor and a press box on the second floor,” said BBS Director of Architecture Joseph Rettig, AIA, LEED AP. “The structure will feature light gray, split-face block bearing walls, double hung windows, concrete slab on metal deck floors, shingle-covered pitched roof in the back, and a hip roof in the front.  The roof structure will consist of light gauge metal frame rafters.  Two eight-foot-wide, 40-foot-long bleachers will also feature split-face block walls and single-pitched roof.  New electrical, water distribution, and sanitary sewer systems will be extended across the West Fields to service the new building,” added Rettig.

Upgrades to the 3.40-acre Barrett Field will include field re-grading, an under-drainage system, an irrigation system, a new 12’ x 5’ Nevco Model 3502 scoreboard, and new bleachers adjacent to the existing grandstand.

“All fields will be upgraded with under-drainage systems, which will consist of plastic collection chambers on crushed stone bases and perforated polyethylene pipes buried around the perimeters of the fields,” explained BBS Vice President and co-head of Site Planning and Design Group John R. Longo, ASLA. “BBS also designed several overflow stormwater retention basins, which will be landscaped and planted with indigenous plant species native to Westchester County,” he added.

In addition to the athletic field improvements, the work will include a new emergency vehicle access drive. This roadway will provide access to the West Field baseball fields from the existing Knollwood Gate access drive, and a new pedestrian path connecting the West Field with the Physical Education building, which will improve pedestrian access and reduce conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles.

In order to limit the paved areas throughout the campus, the design team re-constructed and improved several existing pathways. This solution increased the paved surfaces by less than five percent, in spite of the significant extent of work, which will create 1,300 feet of walkways and over 500 feet of roadways.  The new pedestrian walkways and roads, building, spectator areas, and fields will provide a full access to users with disabilities.

In addition to BBS Architects, the project team includes the office of Thomas Riley, PE, structural engineer for the multi-purpose building, and Avanti Building & Construction, general contractor.

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