D’Youville College plans to spend nearly $3 million on its first outdoor athletic fields to satisfy the demands of the NCAA.
D’Youville, on Porter Avenue on the city’s West Side, is a member of the NCAA Division III Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference.
The college needs to have its own outdoor soccer and softball fields, instead of playing at other facilities, said Sister Denise A. Roche, college president.
The fields will be built on 3.5 acres bounded by Porter Avenue, Jersey Street, Fourth Street and the Niagara Thruway. The land is not contiguous with the college’s other properties but will be close enough for students to watch the games, Roche said. The fields also will be near other greenspace, including LaSalle Park to the west and Front Park to the north.
“These facilities will help the college recruit student athletes,” said Victor A. Martucci, a lobbyist for the college.
The college owns some of the property already, is negotiating with the State Thruway Authority for some of the land and has negotiated with the city to purchase 602 Fourth St. The purchase price was based on several appraisals and was set at $400,000.
The transaction was approved Thursday by the Buffalo Urban Renewal Agency but must also be approved by the Common Council.
The agency advertised the land, and the college offered the only bid, said Brendan R. Mehaffy, executive director of the Office of Strategic Planning.
The college plans to start construction in the spring but knows that it will need to spend about $400,000 to remediate the site, Roche said. It would like to add lighting to the fields but is waiting to see how much it will cost.
The proceeds from the sale will likely go into the Urban Renewal Agency’s general fund, but the agency will need to see whether there are any restrictions from the U.S. Deoartment of Housing and Urban Development on how the money can be used, said agency general counsel Scott C. Billman.