UNH Breaks Ground on New Soccer and Lacrosse Facility

Friday, August 10, 2018

Artist rendition of proposed UNH soccer and lacrosse facility.

Artist rendition of the facility from July 2017. Courtesy: UNH

DURHAM, N.H. — Thanks to a second anonymous grant from the Eleanor and Clarence Prevo Fund, the University of New Hampshire will break ground on the first phase of a new soccer and lacrosse facility in early August. The facility will be 100 percent privately funded.

The new facility, to be built adjacent to Wildcat Stadium on the site of Lewis Field, will be used by UNH athletic teams and the Oyster River Youth Association, making it an important bridge between the university and the wider community. The first phase includes infrastructure preparation as well as installation of a state-of-the-art synthetic field, goals, perimeter fencing around the field and team benches.

“We are very grateful for the continued support of our alumni and donors who share our vision for excellence in all we do,” said UNH Director of Athletics Marty Scarano. “This facility is not only critical for the future success of our lacrosse and soccer programs, but is a fabulous asset for the surrounding community.”

In addition to the Prevo Fund grants, gifts were made in support of phase one by Mike Pilot ’84, Morgan Rutman ’84, Matt Witkos ’89, Eric Chinburg ’84, Jeff Bergholtz ’88 and others. The Eleanor and Clarence Prevo Fund is a donor-advised fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and was created by donors who wish to remain anonymous.

The second phase of construction will be predicated on future fundraising and the completion of the first phase. It will include field lighting, a 3,000-seat grandstand and storage area, press box with production capabilities, covered team benches and enhanced landscaping. An additional $1.7 million of the total $3.5 million needs to be raised for the second phase of construction. For more information on how to support the soccer and lacrosse facility project, please contact the Athletics Development office at (603) 862-3149.

The anonymous donor behind the Prevo Fund hopes others will continue to contribute to the fund to realize the next step in athletic excellence at the university, the development of a state-of-the-art, all-inclusive athletic and training facility for all athletes no matter their physical challenges, level of ability or age.

“We hope others will contribute so that we can continue the development of a state-of-the-art, all-inclusive athletic and training facility for all athletes no matter their physical challenges, level of ability or age,” said the family behind the Prevo Fund.

The project would utilize universal design to create an environment that can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people regardless of age, size, ability or disability. It would support Northeast Passage, UNH and Oyster River Youth Association programs with an indoor fitness area for training, recreation and competition.

“It has long been a goal of Northeast Passage to create a universally accessible facility that can support athletes whether they are training for the Paralympic Games, the Warrior Games, the Senior Games, NCAA competition or local competition,” said Jill Gravink, director of Northeast Passage. “This is our opportunity to turn this dream into a reality, where athletes support athletes regardless of where or how they compete. This will be a place that changes perceptions and changes lives.”

UNH’s competitive and successful Division I athletics program plays an integral part in the life of New Hampshire’s flagship university by serving as a rallying point for school pride. Upgraded athletic facilities help the department accomplish its objectives to recruit the best student-athletes in the nation, compete regionally and nationally, brand UNH Athletics to top future student-athletes, support overall student recruitment and provide a fan experience second to none in the region.

Northeast Passage, a program of the UNH, is an internationally recognized leader in the fields of adaptive sport and recreational therapy that provides healthy sport and recreation opportunities for individuals with disabilities to develop skills and fully engage in life and community. Additionally, Northeast Passage provides educational opportunities for students who will be the next generation of therapists. 

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, health and human services, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space. 

Editor's Notes: 

Caption: Artist rendition of the facility from July 2017. Courtesy: UNH