On the master planning blog we’re taking a closer look at some of the concepts in the master plan. We first explored a campus space analysis, and in the last post we looked at the concept for a student life corridor in the heart of campus. Now we’ll turn our attention to the future of Yates Field House and Kehoe Field.
It’s clear that Kehoe Field needs to be repaired. Many of the issues on Kehoe are a result of problems with the Yates roof. (Kehoe Field sits atop the Yates roof structure). The university is currently assessing the deficiencies on Kehoe Field to better understand the cost of repairing it.
One option would be to replace Kehoe Field and make repairs to the Yates Field House roof. Doing so, however, may result in a similar situation in the future. After spending money on a renovation, Yates would still be the campus’s recreation center. Aside from the roof problems, the indoor space in Yates is not fully utilized (the tall ceiling results in a waste of vertical space) and the building has a large footprint.
It may be more beneficial in the long term to invest in the construction of a new recreation facility. It may be that the cost of replacing the Yates roof and Kehoe Field is not substantially less than the cost of replacing Yates altogether.
The image below illustrates one concept for a new recreational facility. In this concept, the orientation of Yates and Shaw Field are switched and additional field space is preserved below Shaw Field. A new recreational facility could include tennis courts on the roof and a different design to create additional recreation space and a more modern facility.
A similar concept would shift a new recreational facility slightly and create an east-west access road at the north end of campus to allow for better circulation of vehicles and relieve congestion around the Medical Center. Both of these new concepts would better use the land by switching the position of the fields and recreational facility while maintaining field space.
The future of Kehoe Field and Yates Field House is an open question. The vision for the university, planning principles, financial considerations, and feedback from faculty, staff, and students can help answer this question. What do you think about the future of Kehoe and Yates? Share your thoughts in the comments.