After over a year of watching the construction of Genesee Hall, returning athletes can now use the facilities housed in the bottom floors of the new dormitory. The Boehning Varsity House, named in honor of former soccer player Christopher Boehning ’87, includes locker, sports medicine and equipment rooms formerly housed in Fauver Stadium.
“My favorite part about the new facilities is how pristine everything is,” junior tight end Daniel DiLorento said.
Prior to this fall, teams gave up their locker rooms at the end of their seasons to those entering theirs. The facility now serves the baseball, field hockey, football, lacrosse, softball, track and field, and soccer teams year round.
“Because of the huge upgrade, all we have to worry about as far as football is actually playing the game,” DiLorento said. “Nobody is crunched for space and everybody can relax and do what they need to before practice.”
In recent years, the University has begun to focus on improving the athletic facilities, as demonstrated by the establishment of the Brian F. Prince Athletic Complex in 2014. The Boehning Varsity House is perhaps the most notable addition to the ongoing project, along with the renovation of the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center in 2000.
For fall teams, the upgrade seems to be making their grueling pre-season training slightly more bearable.
“The fact that the school is taking care of us and gave us more than we could’ve imagined helps provide a spark for contagious enthusiasm,” DiLorento said. “We’re only a few days into preseason and it’s already showing.”
Along with the obvious structural improvements,other changes are noticeable in the new facility. The wall and floor colors are strictly blue and gold, and the University’s logo is plastered in every corner. Action shots and team pictures of UR athletes past and present fill the walls, giving onlookers a glimpse into the spirit and passion exhibited within them.
UR field hockey junior Jennifer Lee is one of a few currently active student athletes pictured outside of their locker room. She says her photo, which shows her with a wide smile, celebrating a goal, represents how field hockey not only makes her, but also her teammates, feel.
“The pictures are nice because we are student athletes and we work hard in the classroom, but we put our blood, sweat and tears into the sport as well which a lot of the student body is not aware of,” Lee said. “My picture displays our whole team dynamic and how exciting and rewarding it is when we score.”
Varsity fall sports will conclude their pre-season training in August and regular season competition will begin early September, where visiting teams will be utilizing the old locker room space in Fauver Stadium.