Groundbreaking ceremony held for new soccer field, softball field, and multi-purpose athletic facility

The $4.2 million Capital Improvement Project is the first new athletic facilities at UH Hilo in nearly 40 years.

Aerial view, artist rendering of new soccer field and softball field.
Artist rendering of new soccer and softball fields at UH Hilo. The project is slated for completion in Sept. 2021. Courtesy image from Vulcan Athletics.
Bonnie D. Irwin
Bonnie D. Irwin

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo broke ground last week on a new soccer field, softball field, and a multi-purpose building to house restrooms, concessions, storage and a team room. The facilities are a Capital Improvement Project in the planning and funding stages for several years. The money was approved during the 2018 state legislative session. It’s the first new athletic facilities at UH Hilo in nearly 40 years.

Attending the ceremonies was university leadership, state legislators, coaches and teams. Local dignitaries in attendance included state Sen. Kai Kahele, along with state representatives Mark Nakashima and Richard Onishi. Also present was Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, the governor’s liaison for Hawai‘i Island.

“Athletics serves as the front porch to any university, and I am happy to see this addition to ours,” says Chancellor Bonnie Irwin. “I look forward to coming out and joining our community to watch our student-athletes compete on this field in the near future.”

Two lines of dignitaries with shovels in open field.
Attending groundbreaking ceremonies for new athletic facilities was university leadership, state legislators, coaches and teams. Local dignitaries in attendance included state Sen. Kai Kahele, along with state representatives Mark Nakashima and Richard Onishi. Also present was Dennis “Fresh” Onishi, the governor’s liaison for Hawai‘i Island. Oct. 15, 2020, UH Hilo. Photo courtesy Vulcan Athletics.

The one-time CIP funding of $4.2 million includes a brand new synthetic turf NCAA regulation soccer field and softball outfield, a new state-of-the-art drainage system for both and the multi-purpose building. The project falls under Title IX funding that will provide similar facilities for both men’s and women’s sports.

Patrick Guillen
Patrick Guillen

“This is an important day and a ray of good news that is so welcomed during these challenging times,” says Patrick Guillen, UH Hilo athletics director. “We have been working on this project for over four years and it is nice to see all of the planning and hard work come to fruition. Our vision is to become one of the top NCAA Division II programs in the West Region and adding first-class facilities to our program that already has first-class student-athletes and coaches is a huge step towards that goal.”

The project completion target date is September of 2021.

Read the full story at the UH Hilo Athletics website.