Cambridge, Mass. (August 11) -- In a busy summer for the MIT Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER), there have been a number of substantial facility improvements that began late in the spring and should be completed by the end of August. These renovations include improvements to Steinbrenner Stadium, the track and field facility, and the baseball and softball fields. With these improvements, it will provide an improved experience for not just the intercollegiate athletic programs, but for the rec sports programs and intramurals.
"Due to the tremendous support from the institute and the generosity of the alumni, we are able to transform the majority of our outdoor facilities for the MIT campus to enjoy this coming fall," said Dan Martin, Assistant Department Head/Director of Facilities and Operations who is overseeing the project. "The new facilities will be much more in tune for with the high-quality expectations of our MIT students, faculty and staff as they compete and recreate on our campus."
At Steinbrenner Stadium, the renovations include a new restroom facility, new expanded seating in the bleachers and a new press box that is nearly double in size compared to the previous one. The seating has increased by 200 seats and will now hold nearly 1,000 fans, including ADA access to the bleachers by ramps and an elevator. The press box is equipped with state-of-the-art technology to allow for live streaming of events and coverage of the MIT athletic teams.
The upgrade of the track and field facility has been made possible by a naming level gift from Sherie and Don Morrison `61 and will give the Engineers one of the top facilities in New England. With a Beynon BSS 2000 surface and a Hobart finish, this Olympic caliber system features a force reduction layer of butyl rubber and full-depth color Polyurethane that is finished with a customized surface texture engineered to meet the intense demands of competition. All of the facilities field competition areas were also fully resurfaced, along with upgrades of the wiring for the timing systems. Don Morrison was a 1961 graduate of the Institute and a member of the MIT track and field team from 1958-1961 as a long jumper.
At the Briggs Field facility, both the baseball and softball fields are being completely re-sodded and leveled with brand new surfaces in the infield and outfield. Both facilities will have new irrigation systems, warning tracks, batting cages and bullpens and all new fencing enclosing the fields. The baseball field has been renamed Fran O'Brien Field in honor of former head coach Fran O'Brien and was made possible through generous donations from his former student-athletes.