Fairfield Unveils Plans for New State-of-the-Art Convocation Center

Fairfield Unveils Plans for New State-of-the-Art Convocation Center

architectural rendering of the new convocation center at fairfield university

Architectural rendering of the new Convocation Center, courtesy of Centerbrook Architects and Planners

A new Convocation Center, to be built on the current site of Alumni Hall, will revolutionize the Stags home game and campus event experience.

“The new arena will be a versatile, dynamic, and contemporary space, providing a much-anticipated upgrade in size, technology, and amenities.”

— Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD

Fairfield University has announced plans to build an 85,000-square foot, 3,500-seat Convocation Center. Projected to open in 2021, the new facility will boast a state-of-the-art broadcast and media center, luxury seating and lounge areas, and updated features that will truly make it a showpiece of Fairfield’s modern campus.

Designed by Centerbrook Architects and Planners of Centerbrook, Conn., Fairfield’s new Convocation Center will be home to its Division I basketball and volleyball programs, Prep basketball, and will host convocations, concerts, and gatherings for the University and the neighboring community at large. Although the official timetable for construction is still to be determined, the building project is expected to begin in the spring of 2020 and take between 18 and 24 months.

“The new arena will be a versatile, dynamic, and contemporary space,” said President Mark R. Nemec, PhD, “providing a much-anticipated upgrade in size, technology, and amenities.”

David Frassinelli, vice president for facilities management at Fairfield University, is overseeing the design and construction of the project. He described how sports fans, concertgoers, and event attendees will enter the new Convocation Center from the main entrance off of Loyola Boulevard and find themselves on a spacious, open concourse level, looking toward a large beer garden, satellite concessions, and access to seating that surrounds the court below.

Above the concourse, plans call for an upper level Stags Club with additional rows of seating and a conference room overlooking the court. The lower (court) level will feature amenities to support Stags student-athletes, including a film room, a team lounge, and a training room for taping, icing, and first aid operations.

As the future home of Fairfield’s basketball and volleyball programs, the new Convocation Center will feature the latest in today’s lighting and scoreboard technology, as well as cutting edge broadcast and audio systems. The upgrades will enhance the quality of the event experience for those in attendance, and will also benefit remote viewers through advanced livestreaming and video production.

While basketball and volleyball will undoubtedly use the new arena the most, when it comes to recruiting Division I athletes to Fairfield University, the Convocation Center is poised to benefit all Stags athletics programs.

“A modern facility makes an impression on prospective student-athletes, regardless of the sport they play,” Director of Athletics Paul Schlickmann said. “ It demonstrates an overall commitment to Athletics by the University and will be transformational in its impact on all our programs.”    

With project costs estimated at $45 million, the planned facility marks the culmination of capital projects detailed in Fairfield’s Master Plan. Over the past three years, this multi-phased plan has delivered on its promise to modernize the physical and technological structure of the Fairfield campus.

“We are seeing tremendous excitement and support from our alumni, parents, and friends,” said Vice President for Advancement Wally Halas. “This Center will bring our entire University community together and serve the town of Fairfield for years to come.”

Final Convocation Center approvals from the Fairfield University Board of Trustees and the Town of Fairfield are on track, and the projected financing, which is critical, is proceeding as planned. For updates on the status of this, and all recent and current construction projects on campus, visit fairfield.edu/moderncampus

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