Construction has begun on Simon Fraser University‘s (SFU) student-led stadium project to upgrade the Terry Fox field at its Burnaby campus.
Scheduled for completion in August 2020, the plans include theatre-style stadium seating for 1,800 people built into the north hillside, media facilities and washrooms. A roof canopy will cover 1,200 of the seats.
“It’s going to add a lot to campus life and I’m particularly proud of the fact that our students made a major contribution to allow this to happen,” SFU president Andrew Petter told Global BC.
The joint initiative by SFU and its students will see a $10-million contribution from the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) through a special student levy from 2019 to 2030. The university will provide any additional funding required for the first phase of the project.
SFU athletic director Theresa Hanson said the stadium will be a place student-athletes will use for generations to come.
“It’ll be a place that we can call home,” she said. “We have never had a stadium in 50 years here at Simon Fraser and this is really a game-changer for what we can do with our athletics program, with our recreation program and for all our students.”
Student athlete Addy Townsend said she’s excited for the upgrades.
“It’s very essential for the athletes that are playing out here,” she said.
With construction slated to end in summer 2020, the field will be unusable for most athletic competition for over a year. Townsend said she doesn’t see this as an issue, noting that they’ve dealt with disruptions relating to construction in the past and are usually able to plan around it.
In addition to athletic events, the new stadium will also be used for campus community events, recreational activities and student orientation.
The project could expand in future phases to include other amenities, such as a field house with team locker rooms.
SFU is the only Canadian university that competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).