Detailed plans are taking shape for the renovation of Kehoe Field, the athletics field located on the roof of the Yates Field House that was shuttered in 2016, with construction expected to begin later this year.

Last Friday, Yates hosted an event displaying current progress on renovations for Kehoe Field and inviting input from students and campus leaders on the type of turf and infill used for the field. The event marks the first time the Georgetown community has been invited to contribute to the ongoing design study, which was approved by the university’s board of directors last October.

The board identified funding for the renovations in the five-year budget plan approved in February, according to Vice President of Planning and Facilities Management Robin Morey.

The design study is expected to continue for the next six to nine months, with construction expected to begin in late 2018 and conclude before the start of the 2019-2020 school year, according to Morey.

The completed renovation would restore up to three acres of recreational space for the Georgetown community, particularly club and intramural sports teams, according to Meghan Dimsa, the director of Yates Field House.

ALI ENRIGHT/THE HOYA
Renovations on Kehoe Field are taking shape: Construction is set to begin later this year, with completion expected before the 2019-2020 academic year.

The field’s structural problems began when it was rebuilt on the roof of Yates in 1979. The lightweight concrete roof of the gymnasium does not properly drain rainwater, leading the field and the roof itself to deteriorate from pooling water. The field has been repaired twice since 1979, first in 1987 for $1.8 million and again in 2002 for $7 million.

Kehoe was shuttered indefinitely in February 2016. The closure has left club and intramural sports teams without a dedicated practice field, since Kehoe had previously been the main field for club sports teams. These teams now have to share Cooper Field with varsity teams or use off-campus fields at Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School east of campus and the Duke Ellington School of the Arts north of campus.

Aidan Delaney, chair of the Advisory Board for Club Sports, said the loss of Kehoe has resulted in a shortage of field space.

“Varsity has been very generous in terms of letting us use [Cooper Field], but it’s tough to have three different organizations, whether its varsity athletics, intramural leagues and club teams rotating on one field,” Delaney said in an interview with The Hoya. “So, when we do go off campus, we have to rent space at Georgetown Visitation center or Duke Ellington.”

While Duke Ellington School of the Arts has been allowing club sports teams to use the fields for free so far, Delaney said he expects it might begin charging fees in the near future. Delaney also said the restorations would allow club sports teams to decrease team dues, making the teams more financially accessible, as well as opening more field space for the clubs.

“It would help us increase our access and really lower our external expenses. At this point we probably pay, by the end of the year it will probably hit $55,000 in external field rentals, whether it’s soccer, lacrosse, hockey, baseball, softball,” Delaney said.

Many students made major contributions to the approval of the Kehoe renovations, according to Ricardo Mondolfi (SFS ’19), a student representative to the board of directors, who gave particular credit to Daniel Fain (COL ’18), former chair of the Advisory Board for Club Sports, for his dedication to the project.

“ABCS was involved through their Chair at the time, Daniel B. Fain, who took the lead in the advocacy effort and helped Board representatives raise this issue over a two-year period. A lot of people worked on this, but Dan is definitely the individual with the most responsibility for getting this new field,” Mondolfi wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Fain said he was motivated to advocate for the restoration of Kehoe after it was closed, leaving the Club Frisbee Team, of which he was a member, and the larger community of club and intramural sports without the primary practice area.

“Advocacy took the form of petitions, letters to the Board of Directors, and physical protests to raise awareness of the issue. All the energy the community has poured into the projects helped to communicate the importance of the field to Georgetown and this importance undoubtedly played a huge role in the university’s decision to renovate the field,” Fain wrote in an email to The Hoya.

Fain said he is pleased to the see the project beginning to take form.

“What is exciting is that campus recreation and student leaders are beginning to delve into the details of the renovation, discussing the design, turf selection, lighting, etc. We are finally starting to see this project we have advocated for so long become a reality,” Fain wrote.

Correction: This article previously referred to Ricardo Mondolfi as GUSA liaison to the board of directors. His title is student representative to the board of directors.

One Comment

  1. John M Kehoe says:

    The Rev John J Kehoe was my great uncle. Though I never knew him, family stories through the years led me to start researching his history and the history of Kehoe field. I am thrilled to see the renovations to the field and hope to someday visit in person. Thank you for keeping the legacy of Rev John J Kehoe alive.

    Sincerely,

    John M Kehoe
    Vero Beach, Florida

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