HANOVER, N.H. — At its March 8, 2014 meeting, Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees approved the replacement of the 91-year-old West Stands of Memorial Field with an improved and accessible seating structure for the historic football and track stadium. Plans call for preservation of the ivy-covered, brick façade, but an otherwise complete overhaul.
“We are very grateful to President Hanlon and the Board of Trustees for their endorsement of this important project,” said Harry Sheehy, Dartmouth’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. “The new stands will provide a safe, comfortable environment for our loyal fans to enjoy the exciting action for many decades to come.”
The project will feature wider aisles and concourses, handrails, modern rest rooms, a premium chairback section on the 50-yard line, and accessible seating on three levels connected by an elevator. The new press box will also be accessible by elevator, and will include upgraded technology for video streaming, television and radio broadcasts, and video scoreboard operation.
The West Stands were originally completed in 1923, and the structure has been deemed by engineers to be nearing the end of its useful life. The Trustees originally approved the replacement project in 2008, but it was suspended along with several other campus projects due to the economic downturn. The College had already invested several million dollars in precast concrete, which will now give the project a head start and limit the additional construction cost to $10.5 million.
Pending appropriate approvals from the Town of Hanover, demolition will commence immediately following the last home game of the 2014 football season, and construction will be completed prior to the 2015 fall season.The project will be the latest in a series of impressive improvements to Memorial Field. A new track and FieldTurf® playing surface were installed in 2006, followed by Floren Varsity House, the new East Stands, and end zone seating in 2007. Field lighting was then installed in 2011 and a new video scoreboard was erected in 2013.