This fall, construction continues on the Patricia Wiedner Purcell Athletic Fields and Science Hall at Saint Mary’s.According to the College’s website, both projects are funded through the completed $105 million Faith Always, Action Now campaign. According to the Saint Mary’s Facebook page, Patricia Wiedner Purcell and her husband Paul are significant benefactors of the new athletic complex. Purcell is a 1969 Saint Mary’s graduate and a member of the Board of Trustees.After initial planning in 2008-2009, the construction team broke ground on the fields in spring 2015 and plans to have them completed by late October 2015, Austin Stahly, manager of energy and facilities projects, said.“The concept for this project arose out of an inherent need to continue to make significant improvements to our athletic complexes while enhancing the experience for our student-athletes and fans,” Stahly said. Photo courtesy of Gwen O’Brien Austin Stahly, manager of energy and facilities projects at Saint Mary’s, stands with Ben Bowman, director of facilities.Stahly said when construction is completed, there will be new soccer, lacrosse and softball fields, as well as new lighting, scoreboards and press boxes for each field. Interconnecting sidewalks will lead from entry gates to various buildings and bleachers.“[Students should expect] an increase in the competitive nature and livelihood for all of our athletes with a positively correlated experience for the fans and spectators,” Stahly said. “This will also allow for multiple practices and games to occur simultaneously.”The construction directly impacts the Saint Mary’s soccer team this season. According to the the team’s website, all home games in 2015 will be played at the Jr. Irish Soccer Club’s Airport field six, near South Bend Regional AirportIn communication to College staff, director of Media Relations Gwen O’Brien said fourteen maple trees were removed during construction. The timber will be used in a future Angela Athletic and Wellness Complex, for which fundraising is still in progress, O’Brien wrote.Construction is also being done on campus to update Science Hall. According to Saint Mary’s website, the renovation for Science Hall was funded by Jennifer Mathile Prikkel, a member of the class of 1995, and her parents Clayton and MaryAnn Mathile.Plans for Science Hall have been in the works since 2010, with construction beginning in spring 2015. Stahly said the College plans to have the renovations completed by fall 2016.“This carefully planned phased renovation to the Science Hall will create new learning and study spaces that encourage collaboration between peers, not only in their own department but across disciplines as well,” Stahly said.Science Hall was originally built in 1956 and was renovated in 1985. Today, the two-story building houses undergraduate classrooms and research activities for 10 science departments, Stahly said.“In both professional and academic settings, scientific inquiry increasingly relies on active collaboration among colleagues who offer different skill sets and perspectives,” Stahly said. “Yet the majority of science students still learn in traditional classrooms built for isolated, passive student learning.”Stahly said collaborative learning will be encouraged with the installment of shared teaching and research areas on the first and second floors. Science Hall will also include multiple classrooms that seat more than 20 students, two research labs and four new faculty offices, in addition to more renovations.In the renovated basement of Science Hall, students will experience two new physics labs, a 48-seat classroom, new bathroom facilities, three offices, a lab prep room and a research lab. A three-zone automated controls greenhouse is already completed, he said.“We anticipate this design will reflect a highly adaptive facility which will support interactive, collaborative and experimental learning, enhancing the development of innovative approaches to teaching and learning,” Stahly said.“This project, with the right kind of classrooms, will allow students to begin thinking in ways that break down the walls between disciplines and help them understand the integrated nature of what they are studying,” he said.Tags: Austin Stahly, Construction, Faith Always Action Now, Patrica Wiedner Purcell Athletic Fields, Saint Mary’s Science Hall
“It’s key that we allow him to enjoy the experiences he is having right now. “Defence is a department we are well off in at the moment but he is certainly another option to consider and we will continue to monitor him. To have another Premier League player is a bonus for us.” Northern Ireland started their Euro 2016 campaign with a 2-1 win in Budapest and will be hoping to make it back-to-back victories when they welcome the Faroes to Belfast. The forthcoming fixtures were always likely to come too soon for Evans, who was suspended for the first Group F qualifier in Hungary, but O’Neill had hoped by resting him for the home match against the Faroes on Saturday the defender may have been able to play some part in Greece three days later. The presence of Gareth McAuley, Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird mean Northern Ireland are not short of experience at the back, but fans would have welcomed an early chance to see McNair, the country’s latest Premier League performer, in action too. The teenager shot to prominence in the last two weeks when injuries – including Evans’ – saw him fast-tracked into the Red Devils’ starting XI and he responded with assured displays against West Ham and Everton. O’Neill has been monitoring McNair’s development for several months and is delighted to have another top-flight prospect on the radar. But that does not mean he is in a rush to blood him at the first opportunity and he has promised to be cautious in his handling of the Ballyclare man. “Paddy is a young player with a great future who has come on a lot, made a huge jump in a couple of weeks,” O’Neill told Press Association Sport. “It’s great to see one of our young players break through and do so well at a club like Manchester United but the main thing is that we don’t burden him with expectation at this stage. “We don’t need to place unrealistic expectations on him too early in his career. Press Association Jonny Evans has pulled out of Northern Ireland’s squad to face the Faroe Islands and Greece after failing to recover from an ankle injury. The centre-back has not played for Manchester United since sustaining the injury against Leicester in his comeback match and, although out of the protective boot he had been wearing, he has not been judged fit enough for the forthcoming Euro 2016 double header. His replacement at Old Trafford, 19-year-old Paddy McNair, had been in line to deputise with the national side as well but manager Michael O’Neill has not yet called for cover with the teenager reported to have sustained a hamstring injury of his own.