Construction to Begin in November
By Clifford Michel
With funds from the New York City Council’s Staten Island delegation, CSI plans to renovate its soccer field.
The plan was announced in late July at a press conference in the St. George Ferry Terminal. In attendance was City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Councilwoman Debi Rose (Democrat, North Shore), Steven Matteo (Republican, Mid-Island), community leaders, and CSI President William Fritz.
Construction for the soccer field is anticipated to begin in early November, at the end of the soccer season and is slated to be completed before the fall 2016-17 academic year.
CSI’s soccer field is currently over a decade old and features a section of metal bleachers and a beat up fence.
Men’s soccer coach, John Tardy, told The Banner that the replacement of the entire field was a pleasant surprise for him, that he had been seeking this change as coach since he started coaching at CSI three years ago.
“The athletics department talked to us, originally, about just doing the light, the fence, and the bleachers,” Tardy said. “But now it looks like the entire field will be redone as well so we’re really excited about it.”
Tardy said that the construction of Dolphin Cove, which houses more than 400 students on campus, was a big motivator for him to push administration and athletics for a new field because he saw the potential for a larger fan base.
“It’s a big attraction and can make people come out and watch us play and build more of a fan base. It’s a great way of getting the community out as well,” the coach said.
“We have a bunch of other soccer teams that use our field, so being able to have them there for games now when they’re not in school will be great.”
While underlining the impact the new field could have on the college community, Tardy underscored that the most excited members of the CSI community are the 44 players on the Men’s and Women’s soccer roster.
“I know the seniors are pretty bummed out that they’re not going to get to play on it. But our underclassmen are really pumped up and really excited about it,” said Tardy. “It’s going to be a great tool and it shows us the improvement of the program overall.”
Every year members of the New York City Council each receive $400,000 in discretionary funding to dole out to community organizations in their district and borough.
The Council’s Staten Island delegation is made up of two members this year (Councilmember Vincent Ignizio stepped down to work with a Catholic nonprofit).
Usually the delegation funds one project a year at CSI, such as last year when they provided funds for a new screening room for the media culture department.
Besides $20,000 going directly to a study mandated from City Hall, it is unclear how much of the $30,500 in expense funding and the $225,000 in capital funding CSI will be allocating towards the complete renovation of the soccer field.
Officials from the athletics department and CSI’s Office of Communication didn’t immediately return a request for comment.
When discussing his goals for the upcoming season, Coach Tardy didn’t shy away from setting the bar as high as possible.
“As far as our goals go this season, we’re looking to win a CUNYAC title,” Tardy bluntly expressed. “Like we did last year when we won the regular season, make sure we win the regular season again.”
The Lady Dolphins will start at home on September 1 as they face off against NJ City University, while the Men’s soccer squad will begin on the road at Purchase College on September 2.