By Sam Knehans
Syracuse renovates and repurposes its athletic buildings
Many Syracuse athletic teams are returning to their roots due to the recent renovation of Manley Field House. The arena has been renovated as an indoor practice facility for outdoor sports teams.
“The reconstruction of Manley is critical to the future success of our athletic programs,” said director of athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. This new indoor practice facility should help the football team regain a recruiting edge it had lost to other schools with newer practice facilities. It will also give the outdoor sports teams a place to practice in case of inclement weather or when the Carrier Dome is unavailable.
As diehard Orange fans know, Manley was originally built to be an indoor practice facility. When the Syracuse basketball team relocated to the newly constructed Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center last season, the door was opened to redo Manley.
Most members of the athletic department view the renovation as an investment in the success of Syracuse’s athletic program.
“I see the Manley renovation as a huge lift in the quality of facilities we can offer numerous field sports. The Dome gets overbooked and football would often be left with no place to practice. The Manley renovation is going to solve that problem [while] allowing other outdoor teams such as men and women’s soccer, field hockey, men and women’s lacrosse more options for practice time,” said assistant volleyball coach Carol LaMarche.
The volleyball team is also returning to its roots. From 1972 to 1990 the volleyball team played exclusively in the Women’s Building. But for the past 19 years the the team has split time between the two buildings, with last season being the first in program history when the team competed exclusively in Manley. So as Manley returns to its original state as an indoor practice facility, volleyball will go home to the Women’s Building, which is still familiar to the volleyball squad.
“We have always practiced in the Women’s Building so it is like coming home. We never practiced in Manley,” said LaMarche.
Due to the generous donation by Dan and Jessica Paarlberg Matthews, the Women’s building was able to receive a facelift prior to the start of the 2010 volleyball season. Most notably, the floor was resurfaced. So far the move has not effected the volleyball girls. They have opened the season 16-0, capturing four tournament titles along the way. The 16-0 overall record represents a program-best season start.
With the renovation and construction of many buildings on campus over the past few years, Syracuse has shown a greater commitment to bring nationally competitive teams to the central New York area, echoing the athletic department’s mission to compete and perform at the highest level in everything—on the playing field, in the classroom, and in the community.