Construction has begun on Franklin & Marshall College's new multipurpose stadium. The facility, due to open in fall 2017, will be known as Shadek Stadium, in honor of Larry Shadek '72, P'05, P'06 and the Shadek Family, who made the lead gift for the project. Mr. Shadek serves as a member of the College's Board of Trustees and has been involved in the project since it's inception.
Shadek Stadium will be an extraordinary new home of the Diplomat football program and the men's and women's lacrosse programs, though its full impact will be felt in many other areas.
"A core component of our strategic vision for F&M's future is building a model Division III athletics program that enriches the overall student experience on campus — not just for the roughly one-third of F&M students who participate in varsity athletics, but for all of our students, who will benefit from our increased capacity to offer enhanced programs in wellness, leadership, athletic training and sports medicine," said President Daniel R. Porterfield.
Director of the Athletics and Recreation Patricia S.W. Epps concurred, saying, "This is a transformative project for the Athletic Department and the entire campus. Shadek Stadium will provide outstanding facilities for our student-athletes and create an exciting new coming-together space the F&M community and the broader Lancaster community, as well. We all are extremely excited to start a new era in F&M Athletics."
Located behind College Row, the residential and commercial building complex along Harrisburg Avenue, the stadium is being constructed on the former Armstrong World Industries manufacturing site and Norfolk Southern rail yard site that was bisected by last year's extension of Liberty Street.
A webcam is set up for tracking progress on construction of Shadek Stadium. You can follow along here.
Near the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center, the stadium is the anchor facility in the development of North Campus, a new area of the College designated for athletics. It will replace the nearly 122-year-old Sponaugle-Williamson Field, which was originally constructed in 1894, named Williamson Field in 1899 and renamed Sponaugle-Williamson Field in 1995. The existing stadium lies in the heart of the campus, and for the near-term the College plans to continue to use the track that will remain on the current site.
The Shadek Stadium project will seek to secure Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to ensure it is an environmentally sustainable facility. LEED-certified buildings are resource efficient, use less water and energy and reduce greenhouse emissions.
The stadium's field will have lights and a surface of artificial turf. Seating for 2,500 will surround the field that the College intends to name for former head football coach Tom "Gibby" Gilburg once the fundraising in Coach Gilburg’s honor is completed. Gilburg coached Diplomats football for 28 seasons, from 1975 to 2002, and compiled an impressive 160-112-2 record.
The first floor of the 30,000 square foot building includes an equipment room that will service each of the three sports that compete in the stadium, as well as a modern sports medicine room. Also on this level, a 2,800-square-foot, dividable locker room will feature 100 wooden lockers. The locker room, for which the College continues fundraising to name in honor of long-time football defensive coordinator Al Brooks, will be used by the football team in the fall and then divided in two for the men's and women's lacrosse teams in the spring. There will also be a small locker room for game officials or coaches to use.
The second level is the main concourse level, where fans will enter to take their seats on the stadium's home side, passing a multipurpose meeting room and trophy case along the way. A number of alumni and former players are working together to meet fundraising goals that would allow the College to name the new multipurpose room in memory of former coach George Storck.
This level also includes a full-service concession stand and public bathrooms.
Alumni and friends already have raised funds in honor of former coach Bob Curtis, after whom the facility's press box is named. It will house game operations personnel and a separate broadcast booth — allowing the Athletic communication department to elevate the quality of its first-class live broadcasts enjoyed by many alumni, parents, and fans — as well as other areas for Athletic communication staff, scoreboard staff, public address announcers, and the media. Spotting booths for both the home and visiting coaching staff are on this level, too.
In addition to the Curtis Press Box, the third level also features a reception and entertainment space that will allow the College to welcome guests on game day and host other College events.
The resource development process and fundraising for the $19 million stadium began in 2012 with a generous $5 million gift from Laurence Shadek '72, P'05, P'06 and the Shadek Family Foundation. At the time, it was the largest gift ever made to F&M for athletics. It was matched in 2015 by a $5 million contribution from alumnus Dave Lehman '68 to endow the College’s wrestling program.
Shadek said he and his family were motivated to contribute to the stadium because of the influence playing football at F&M had on his own development, and because of the positive outcomes they have seen as a result of their donations to the College in support of faculty chairs, student scholarships, and improvements to the College’s library.
Through the efforts of the Shadek Stadium Committee, the Football Alumni Association and members of the F&M men's and women's lacrosse communities, fundraising work for the stadium continues and the College so far has raised $14.5 million from 315 donors toward the project.
For more information about stadium-related gift opportunities, including the ongoing efforts to honor Coaches Gilburg, Brooks and Storck, please contact Katie Crowe Wood, director of athletic advancement, at 717-358-4834 or [email protected]