Reynolds Field has been the site of countless memories for Pacific University students through the ages — and it’s about to become the home of even more.Jenni Luckett | Editor
On Oct. 10, Pacific University ceremonially broke ground on its newest residence hall, a 200-bed sustainable living community that will expand the residential options for Pacific’s growing student population. Pacific currently serves more than 3,600 students, nearly half of them undergraduates and most of those in Forest Grove. The university expects that number to grow to 2,000 undergraduates and 2,000 graduates by 2020.
Braving a light October drizzle, nearly 100 faculty, staff, alumni and friends gathered during Homecoming to celebrate the groundbreaking. After a brief round of remarks about the new building and the partnerships making it possible, Pacific University Board of Trustees Chair Mindy Cameron climbed aboard a trackhoe to scoop the first loads of dirt from the old athletic field.
The new hall is going up on what was once Reynolds Field, and before that McCready Field, one of the original athletic facilities at Pacific. The field hosted its first varsity match — a football game, which Pacific won — in 1892. It was home to football, soccer, baseball, and even track and field, competitions over the years. In 1991, when Pacific’s football program was discontinued, McCready Field became primarily a soccer venue, and in 1993, it was renamed Tom Reynolds Field in memory of the Hall of Fame soccer coach who had recently passed away.
In 2007, though, when Pacific opened Lincoln Park Stadium, varsity sports moved to the new turf field, and when football was reinstated in 2010, it joined them. Reynolds Field went largely unused.
The new 60,000-square-foot, four-story residence hall will benefit from close proximity to the University Center and other residences on campus. It will feature single- and double-occupancy rooms, as well as small suites and flexible spaces for indoor and outdoor events. There will be shared kitchens, study spaces and lounge areas to help students build community, as well as outdoor patios, an indoor/outdoor fireplace, bike parking and environmentally friendly gardens to capture and reuse stormwater runoff.
Planned to open in time for the 2014 Fall Semester, the new hall will be the third built at Pacific since 2006.