QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Next to the residence halls, something shines a new shade of green against the nature of SUNY Adirondack. For the first time in the college’s history, its student-athletes won’t have to play outdoor sports on uneven grass.

On Thursday, SUNY Adirondack cut the ribbon on a new, $5.7 million turf field. Emblazoned with the forest green and white of the Adirondack Timberwolves, the field is ready for use by softball, baseball, soccer and lacrosse – creating a new opportunity for the school’s own sports teams, as well as visiting teams and regional events.

“Just having a facility of this size and this quality is an attractor for our students and athletes, and lets us recruit more who enroll not just from Warren and Washington counties, but from places across the world,” said SUNY Adirondack President Dr. Kristine Duffy. “We know that it becomes a recruitment tool for us. It creates a higher quality athletic experience for our students.”

SUNY Adirondack turf field
SUNY Adirondack students Jeff Stearns and Tori Granger cut the ribbon on a new turf field in Queensbury, N.Y.

Duffy gave special thanks to other schools and facilities that have hosted SUNY Adirondack sporting events in the past. She pointed out that even some high schools in the area have had turf fields for many years before now.

“This is a community asset. We’re a community college, so our assets are your assets.”

It’s taken a long time to turn a field of dreams into a reality. Nearly 13 years ago, SUNY Adirondack highlighted the need for a sports field in a capital project master plan. The wait from here to there had a lot to do with gradually saving enough money to put into the project.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created its own obstacles. Even when lockdown ended, construction supplies and other resources saw price hikes that have changed the tags on countless capital and civic projects across the country. The SUNY Adirondack Foundation, Lake George and Adirondack chambers of commerce, and Stewart’s Shops all pitched in – and the college is still raising money to finish paying it off.

SUNY Adirondack turf field
Students check out the new baseball dugout at SUNY Adirondack’s new sports field.

No matter what the cost, the worth is evident. Just ask any SUNY Adirondack students, like those who picked up baseballs to break the new turf in. You can also ask students like Tori Granger, captain of the college’s soccer team, who spoke at the ribbon cutting.

“I vividly remember my first experience on the old fields here,” said Granger, a first-year student hailing from Hadley. “It was so traumatic on my ankles that it hurt for days afterward. Thankfully, me and my teammates never need to play on that field again.”