Musty the Mustang and President Jeffrey Armstrong were among those officially breaking ground on the Doerr Field. Courtesy of Cal Poly Athletics

While most Cal Poly students were away for summer, construction began on the brand new Doerr Family Field, a 140-yard synthetic turf field next to the Cal Poly track.

Previously, athletes would walk one mile across campus from Mott Athletics Center to the Upper Field Sports Complex to practice on turf fields.

However, as a result of a donation from Richard and Kathleen Doerr, a turf field will soon lie right in the backyard of Mott Athletics Center.

Richard played football for the Mustangs from 1964 to 1966 and received a physical education degree from Cal Poly in 1966. He now serves as a member of the Cal Poly Foundation Board of Directors.

The location of the $4 million multi-purpose field will allow athletes to walk from their locker rooms, cutting down on the time traveled to practice.

According to head football coach Tim Walsh, the proximity of the new facility will give the student athletes more time to prepare for post practice academic responsibilities and will even impact teams’ recruiting processes.

The upgrade features a synthetic turf field, goal posts, two filming towers and a scoreboard. Construction began in May 2017 and is expected to be completed Friday Dec. 15, according to an email from Facilities Management and Development.

Roughly 21 athletic teams will utilize the facility, providing them and the rest of campus with convenient recreational facilities to meet the needs of the growing student population. The Mustang football team will begin to use Doerr Field as its primary practice area.

The cost of the track and field came with a price tag. Thirteen donors gave a total of $2.1 million and Cal Poly Corporation donated $750,000 to make the field a reality. Cal Poly Athletics, Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) and private donors also served as primary contributors of the field.

Members of Cal Poly Athletics, along with representatives from Cal Poly Corporation, Cal Poly Housing and ASI celebrated the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the new facility, previously named the “I Field,” in May.

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