Home Field Advantage: Steel Field’s Locker Room Gets Major Rehab

Mike Guarino

Over the summer, the football and baseball locker rooms received a much-anticipated — and much-needed — renovation.

The old space had been the home of both teams for nearly fifty years, holding up to the wear of a constant stream of student athletes each fall and spring season.

No longer. When members of Moravian’s football team reported to training camp this August, they were greeted by newly-designed wooden lockers, as well as fresh flooring, lighting, and paint.

According to head football coach Jeff Pukszyn there weren’t any noticeable flaws with the setup, but the facility itself was in need of an upgrade. “Everyone sees all the big schools on ESPN do [renovations],” he said. “But even when you travel to other Division III facilities [like Moravian’s], everyone is making upgrades across the athletic department, be it in football, soccer, lacrosse, or other sports.”

The vision to renovate the fieldhouse on the Steel Athletic Complex didn’t just belong to the coaching staff and players, however. “It was really a team effort to figure out what we could do to make this place stand out,” said Pukszyn. “Coaches Spirk [Moravian athletic director and women’s basketball coach] and Byrne [women’s softball coach], Renee Hellert [associate athletic director] — even Scott Dapp, who coached the football team here for 24 years and was AD for four more — were a huge help in getting this project up and running.”

Both current and former players were excited and energized by the summer construction, according to Pukszyn. “The guys couldn’t believe it was the same setup, but with replacements,” he said. “It made a huge difference for the players when they reported for camp. Definitely a morale boost!”

A key aspect of the renovation was the opportunity it gave Moravian to reconnect with alumni of the football team.

The new lockers include the names and numbers of former players on metal plaques, done to honor those alumni who helped make the project possible. The Blue & Grey Club, whose members are primarily Moravian alumni, donated $50,000 to the rehab.

The total cost of the project was approximately $115,000, according to project manager and associate director of Planning/Project Management Amber Donato. She worked through all facets of the construction project, which was handled by several companies.

The work included demolition by Sargent Enterprises, painting by Goeppert Painting, new flooring by Abacus Sports Installations, lockers by All Wood Lockers, and new lighting installation by Albarell Electric.

When asked about the College’s experience with the construction, Donato explained that “there were no issues related to the renovation. It was a relatively straightforward project that went smoothly from our perspective.” She described the goals of the undertaking, which were shared by Moravian’s Facilities Management, Planning, and Construction Department and the Athletic Department. “The Athletic Department had expressed a desire to renovate the space to assist with recruiting efforts for new students and to provide a better experience for the existing athletes,” she said.

This beautifully renovated space should do exactly that, for both current and future athletes.

Coach Pukszyn was certain about that, and at least one other aspect of the renovation. “[It will] generate enthusiasm within a lot of the fanbase!” he said.