Erickson-Hall Construction based in Escondido has started work on football and softball stadiums on Palomar College’s San Marcos campus in a project estimated to cost $22.8 million.
The football stadium will be a first for the college, which has been using nearby high school fields for the home games of its winning teams since the football program began in 1947 – a year after the college was founded.
The softball stadium adjacent to the football stadium will replace an existing softball field.
“The existing field was pretty basic,” said Alex Alon, project manager for Erickson-Hall. “They basically had dugouts and very, very small aluminum bleachers. The new softball field will have more of a concrete-style seating for 200.”
Both stadiums are on a 7.57-acre site on the college’s main campus in San Marcos and will be visible from West Mission Road.
The football stadium is being built on a former parking lot and the softball stadium is where the old field was leveled.
“In building these stadiums, we are honoring a legacy of excellence by two of our cornerstone programs, football and softball,” said Daniel Lynds, Palomar’s athletic director.
Within the past 30 years, the football team has won 12 conference championships, appeared in 24 bowl games and four state playoffs.
The team also won three state and national champions and have had dozens of players designated All-Americans.
Palomar‘s softball team also has excelled, winning eight consecutive Pacific Coast Athletic Conference titles since the program started in 1977.
Hosting Commencement Ceremonies
Designed by HMC Architects with San Diego offices in UTC, the stadium project is expected to be finished in October.
Money to pay for the project comes from the $694 million Proposition M approved by voters in 2006.
“We have remained committed to the intentions of taxpayers in our district, as outlined in the 2016 ballot measure, Proposition M. Not only is this stadium project an incredible opportunity to serve our student athletes, but it is also a resource for our surrounding communities,” said Star Rivera-Lacey, superintendent and president of Palomar College.
Separate stadiums are needed because it would be impossible to build on stadium that would serve both sports equally, according to the college. They will share ticketing and restrooms and the softball meeting room will serve as the locker room for visiting teams during football games.
The new football stadium will accommodate up to 3,600 people and will include a synthetic turf field, scoreboard, and a three-story press box with an elevator.
“The new playing surfaces will greatly reduce the risk of injury and help (students) to prolong their athletic career,” Lynds said. “Additionally, the high-tech video equipment housed in the each facility will provide a platform from which the student athletes can evaluate their progress and more importantly be seen and recruited by four-year institutions.”
By comparison, San Diego State University’s new Snapdragon Stadium seats 35,000 and cost $310 million.
In addition to football games, the new Palomar College stadium will be used for large events including commencement ceremonies that had been conducted in an open field adjacent to the campus.
The new softball field will include a 207-seat stadium with batting cages, bullpens, masonry dugouts, a scoreboard, a press box, and a one-story fieldhouse.
Alon said one of the most challenge aspects of the project is building the infrastructure to handle water runoff, including storm water retention basins.
Palomar College also is a certified arboretum, which means that the landscaping requires special attention.
“For the new stadiums, every tree had to get boxed. They’re already tagged and stored,” Alon said. “Eventually, we’ll be putting them back into the ground.”
Erickson-Hall Construction Company
CEO: David Erickson
Business: General Contractor
Social impact: Erickson-Hall is an employee-owned company.
Notable: Erickson-Hall is a recognized industry leader and has completed over $2 billion in successful construction projects, of which $1.5 billion has been for K-14 education developments.