Loyola Blakefield Poised to Transform Campus With New Turf Field Project
Since the winter of 2019, Loyola Blakefield’s campus has seen a steady flow of construction personnel, equipment, and materials. Progress on the new Innovative Learning Center has continued throughout the year and is on pace to open on schedule for the 2021–22 school year. While that project approaches the finish line, even more enhancements are in store for the campus as work is now slated to begin by June on an exciting array of improvements to our outdoor athletics facilities.
The primary components of the work involve the installation of synthetic turf surfaces on the practice fields adjacent to Knott Hall. The multi-purpose athletic complex will feature two full-size turf fields lined for soccer, lacrosse, and rugby. The scope also includes permanent lighting and bleachers for the main playing field, as well as upgraded parking. Not to be outdone is an exciting modernization of our baseball facility with the installation of a synthetic playing surface, new seating areas, and the addition of a press box. The primary elements of the project are estimated to be complete by the start of the new academic year in 2021.
In recognition of a generous lead gift by Tim and Sheila Bolte (parents of Tim '08 & Andrew '09), the project will be named the “Bolte-Breschi Athletic Complex.” Sheila’s father is Robert Breschi '57 and their extended family includes multiple generations of Loyola graduates. Additionally, Patrick T. Connor '77 and his wife Michele (parents of Brian '08 & Sean '09 and Marc J. '08 and Michael J. “MJ” Franklin '08) have generously invested in the project. The Connor family will name both the premier performance field and the second competition field. Lead gifts from the Boltes and the Connors, along with support from a group of roughly 20 benefactors, contributed to more than 75% of the fundraising for this transformational and essential upgrade to Loyola’s campus.
“We set our sights on these projects last year as a means to realize the full vision of our campus master plan,” said Anthony Day, President. “These enhancements will provide an immediate boost to our physical education and athletics programming. I’m grateful for the support the project has seen thus far, to the Bolte and Connor families who have taken the lead in providing the funds necessary for this transformation to come to life, and to all those who will play a leading role in this incredible transformation.”
Director of Athletics, Brant Hall '98, is eager to witness the many ways the project will benefit current and future students. “Excellence at Loyola starts with an environment that is suited to success and growth,” said Hall. “Meaningful investments in the experience of our students will not only provide the safest and most modern facilities for them to grow as student-athletes, but also a place they can proudly step onto and represent Loyola with pride.”
Learn more about this exciting initiative here, and view the renderings below.