Binghamton University embarks on 5-year plan to enhance outdoor recreation

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 12:05 AM EDT
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VESTAL (WBNG) -- There’s currently a five-year plan for Binghamton University to improve the student experience through upgrading residential community recreation facilities and additional outdoor recreational spots.

Assistant Vice President for Residential Experiences & Auxiliaries Paola Mignone said the five-year plan has been in conversations for about three years. The effort was announced in September of last year.

“This was one way in which we could specifically and directly address the students’ desire to spend time with one another, their desire to make friends, be outdoors,” said Mignone.

To Mignone’s knowledge, she’s not aware of other SUNY campuses doing something similar.

Physical work at the campus locations began this summer. At this time, she said the Dickinson court is able to be used and College-in-the-Woods will be playable in a few weeks.

Mignone said it’s all about improving the overall experience for those who choose to pursue higher education at BU.

“Ability to play in those fields, ability to make friends,” said Mignone. “Especially post-COVID, there was a real interest in how I connect with some of my peers. Part of that is having the spaces to do so.”

To bring this vision to life, it’s part of their capital planning and capital funding.

“We have invested a significant amount of time, and energy and fiscal resources on student well-being. Both mental well-being and physical well-being,” she said. “That’s part of a larger conversation. Students were a pivotal part of that conversation, talking to students about what they wanted to see in some of those improvements.”

Expect to see more of a presence of turf to prevent muddy conditions and to be able to play longer into the season. At the College-in-the-Woods spot, expect food to also be a focus.

“We’re adding some padding so that we can get some food trucks in there that we have recently purchased,” said Mignone. “Students can enjoy the whole ambiance of it.”