Soccer or flag football anyone? With Durham College and UOIT’s new Campus Fieldhouse, students now have a place to show off their athletic skills.
Director of athletics Ken Babcock at Durham College’s Campus Field house
The Campus Fieldhouse’s $500,000 newly-renovated interior was revealed this summer, with Ken Babcock, director of athletics at Durham College, saying it is available for rentals by the public. However, with the new school year in session, Babcock is hoping for more student involvement.
“They’ve looked at different things we can host as far as special events in there but primarily it’s going to be student-based,” said Babcock.
The Campus Fieldhouse will host a variety of student events, such as intramurals for soccer, cricket, and flag football. Through word of mouth, social media, and a website which is slated to go live this month, students will quickly become aware of its presence.
“I think a lot of people are very interested in having the turf fields instead of the tennis courts that were there before. There’s drop-in soccer, a lot of people play soccer here…the varsity people use it for practice in the wintertime, so it is all around going to be used very well,” said Morgan Dew, a DC student promoting intramurals for the Campus Fieldhouse outside the computer commons.
Originally, the Campus Fieldhouse was a tennis facility; know as the Oshawa Tennis Club. However, after a number of years, the tennis club’s contact was up and the renovations began due to the decline of tennis participation, Babcock said.
“Originally this was built as a clay court, six-court tennis centre and students just didn’t gravitate to tennis and the numbers just proved that students weren’t using it,” said Babcock.
As a facility the Campus Fieldhouse contains two artificial turf soccer fields.
“This isn’t a brand new thing [regarding artificial turf soccer fields]. What is interesting is that it is a very long and large space; they are not normally this big. So it will split in half and have two mini-fields, which is nice,” said Babcock.
The field also contains LED lighting that gives light to the entire bubble.
“We introduced state of the art, LED lighting which is not only energy efficient, but it also provides a really nice light that cascades up the bubble and cascades up so you can see at night,” said Babcock.
The field is also air-conditioned which is not a new renovation, as it had been in place when it housed the six tennis courts. However, it does make the Campus Fieldhouse stand out from other facilities, Babcock said.
“It is air-conditioned, that’s not normal. We put air conditioning in for the tennis because we used to take the bubble up and down. That was a lot of work and a really tough project and expensive to take it up and down, so we insulated it and put in air conditioning so you can use it in the summer time,” said Babcock.
The bubble will be open to spectators with added bleachers and seating areas to watch tournaments and other recreational activities.
Any student can enter and leave the bubble at will with the flash of their student ID card.
With the help of intramurals, the Campus Fieldhouse is slated as being the main hub for sports involving turf.