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The Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
NASHUA — Rivier University broke ground on its first phase of the school's Vision 2020 campus improvement plan on Wednesday, which includes several athletic facility upgrades. "This is an incredible opportunity to create a real game-day experience for our students and our friends," said Sister Paula Marie Buley, president of the university.
The school broke ground on Raider Pavilion, a 6,217-square-foot athletic building that will be constructed near the existing Raider Diamond and Raider Field and will include locker rooms, showers, storage, a laundry area, public restrooms and a press box.
"This will give student athletes and the community a venue that is fan-friendly, and that embodies the spirit of Rivier University," said Buley.Several athletes and city officials gathered Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the start of construction. Aside from the new building, several upgrades to existing athletic facilities on the campus will take place as well, including new bleachers, a dugout, new backstop netting, a second press box, storage and seating at the softball field.
"This project is a way for us to turn a field into the Raiders' home," said Buley. "Construction begins next week and we think will be completed in late spring."
The first phase of the Vision 2020 project also includes a new parking area and new connector driveway to allow easier access to the athletics area from the parking lot behind Sylvia Trottier Hall. Much of the initial work will take place on campus north of South Main Street and east of Clement Street, according to the plans.
"The new athletics pavilion and Raider Diamond upgrades show the commitment Rivier has to the student athletes and all that they bring to campus life, and will support greater student engagement and teamwork," Joanne Merrill, director of athletics, said in a statement. According to Merrill, the newly renovated facilities will also expand athletic resources and strengthen the school's connections within the community.
These facilities will support Rivier's NCAA Division III athletic programs for soccer, field hockey, lacrosse and softball, said school officials. The second and third phases of Rivier University's Vision 2020 include a new 30,000-square-foot science building and a gymnasium addition to the Muldoon Fitness Center, among other improvements. Buley is hopeful that the university will be able to break ground on the science building this coming spring. Vision 2020 is the newest phase of renovations at Rivier University, 410 S. Main St.
Recently, the school upgraded its Clement Street corridor, and several years ago it launched a major $4 million renovation project that improved the campus' main entrance, building facades and parking lots.
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