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UNH plans soccer/lacrosse facility

New Hampshire Union Leader

July 24. 2017 10:23PM

DURHAM — A grant from the Eleanor and Clarence Prevo Fund will launch the development of a soccer and lacrosse facility at the University of New Hampshire and support Northeast Passage, an organization that empowers people with disabilities to engage in athletic pursuits, the school announced Monday.

The facility will be built adjacent to Wildcat Stadium, where the now-defunct UNH baseball team once played its home homes. It will be used by UNH athletic teams and the Oyster River Youth Association’s soccer program.

The Eleanor and Clarence Prevo Fund is a donor-advised fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and was created by donors who wish to remain anonymous. The grant includes $800,000 for the soccer and lacrosse facility and $200,000 for Northeast Passage.

UNH athletic director Marty Scarano said bids on the project are due the first week of August. He estimated that the total cost will be around $3 million.

“I think it’s important to mention that this will all be done with private funding,” Scarano said. “No money will be coming from the state or the institution. We will not be building anything if we don’t have the money in hand.

“We received a significant gift to start with — you can’t start something like this with a $5,000 donation — and we are actively fund raising. We need to raise a little more money and I feel confident we will do that.”

Scarano said the project will include three phases. Phase One includes the field and excavation around the field. Phase Two will be the installation of lights, and Phase Three is putting in seating and constructing the press box. Scarano said he’s hopeful the project will begin this fall.

“The donors share our vision that these programs can be competitive at a national level, not just a regional level,” Scarano said. “We’re also working hard to host more high school soccer and lacrosse events — and the NHIAA is aware of that.”

“This will allow our teams to train effectively and continue to foster opportunities for our programs to give back to the local community,” added UNH men’s soccer coach Marc Hubbard. “I look forward to using this facility as another way to give back to not only the Oyster River community but to the state of New Hampshire.”

Northeast Passage creates an environment where individuals with disabilities can enjoy recreation with the same freedom of choice, quality of life and independence as their non-disabled peers. This grant will support NEP’s competitive sports programs, including power soccer, quad rugby and sled hockey.

This grant is part of Celebrate 150, a fundraising campaign designed to provide support for UNH students, faculty, infrastructure and programs. The campaign is on track to exceed the goal of $275 million when it concludes in June, 2018. The university’s athletic facilities and venues were identified as priorities in the campus’ master plan.

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