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New rec complex and stadium good for students and community

New rec complex and stadium good for students and community

CSUS President Hamid Shirvani stands with Student Body President Diana Heredia at the new Warrior Stadium.


POSTED August 14, 2009 9:36 p.m.
When Hamid Shirvani became the Cal State Stanislaus president four years ago, he looked at the university as sort of a project. He wanted to make things better. He had an agenda. He wanted to have the school earn recognition within the state while creating a college-town atmosphere.
Anyone who has driven past the campus lately, especially at the corner of Christoffersen Parkway and Geer Road, has noticed an obvious improvement: Warrior Stadium, which is a part of the $16.1 million Student Recreation Complex that will make its official debut next month.
In other words, it’s a new era.
In the process, the facility helped land a successful Division I men’s soccer coach in Dana Taylor.
So, the new complex is the latest pillar in Shirvani’s vision of having Turlock morph into a college town. And students seem to be happy about it, although they’re paying a fee of $80 per semester and $22 per winter term during tough financial times.
“I think they’re really excited, especially in this economy with fees going up,” CSUS student president Diana Heredia. “This, hopefully, will somewhat balance out. It’s something good on the campus other than people being able not to register in some classes or having a little bit fuller classes. I think they’re excited.”
The project began after students overwhelmingly approved a referendum in May 2006 — 62 percent — to fund construction on the northwest corner of the CSUS campus, covering 24 acres and boasting a new state-of-the-art, 18,500-square-feet fitness and recreation facilities to host various student activities, in addition to having an adjacent track and soccer field with stadium seating of 2,100, a press box, restrooms, locker rooms, parking and landscaping. There’s also a practice field nearby.
Construction began in November 2006, and word about the facility got out quickly, as it helped attract Coach Taylor. He directed Oregon State to postseason appearances and national prominence during his decade there before landing in Turlock, thanks to warmer weather, closer proximity to relatives and Warrior Stadium.
“I saw an opportunity of a lifetime at Stanislaus,” he said after opening day of training camp. “I look around and I see a state-of-the-art practice pitch, a new stadium, press box, elevator in the three-story press box, new locker room, game pitch, stadium and lighting system.
“Having coached 15 years as a Division I coach,” he added, “I’ll go on record and say (Warrior Stadium) is better than 90 percent of the facilities in Division I in the country.”
And it has already attracted a major event.
On top of opening the stadium Aug. 23 with a doubleheader with the men’s and women’s soccer teams, the Warriors will host the California Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament Championships Nov. 6-8 — which will surely give a boost to the local economy.
The vision is coming together.
“The more the community comes here to watch games,” Shirvani said, “the more they get to know our students, the more they know our community, the more they feel better about it. That doesn’t mean they won’t come here to hear lectures or presentations or performances. Nothing clues the community to the university than sports.”
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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