Last week, an alumnus and trustee gave a monumental $10 million donation exclusively intended to partially fund the proposed renovation and expansion of the Leslie C. Quick Jr. Recreation Complex.

However, the project, estimated to cost $20 million, is pending additional finances and approval from the board of trustees.

The $10 million gift came from John C. Meditz ‘70, managing director, co-founder and senior portfolio manager of Horizon Kinetics, LLC, and member of Fairfield’s board of trustees. Meditz has made large contributions in the past, including a $2.5 million gift which funded the Bellarmine Museum of Art, in addition to numerous contributions which created student scholarships.

According to a university press release, the renovation plans for the RecPlex include the addition of an indoor track, air-conditioned field house and additional floor space for sports programs. Swimming and diving locker rooms and multi-purpose exercise rooms will be modernized. The new building will be 11,000 square feet larger and two stories tall.

The renovated field house will also be utilized by varsity athletics when needed, according to Senior Vice President for Administration and Chief of Staff and Interim Vice President for University Advancement Dr. Mark C. Reed.

According to Reed’s statement, “Our tennis teams go off-campus to practice indoors during the winter or other times of inclement weather. We would like these teams to be able to practice on campus, so a permanent or temporary floor that is suitable for indoor tennis will be considered.”

Thomas Pellegrino, vice president for student affairs, stated that “We want a facility that is competitive with what students see at other campuses. Meditz’s extraordinary donation could not come at a better time.”

According to the press release, schematic plans are complete and all approvals have been granted from the town of Fairfield. However, additional fundraising is necessary for the project to become a reality.

“When we [have] a funding plan in place, we will complete the remaining construction plans and seek the approval of the Board of Trustees,” stated Reed.

In a university press release, Meditz expressed the importance of investing in nonexistent or outdated facilities. Both Reed and Pellegrino agreed, and recognized the crucial role Fairfield’s many recreational facilities play in maintaining Fairfield’s reputation.

Reed stated: “Ideally, we would like to see all or most of the remaining funds need[ed] come from gifts and contributions, and we are actively working on this every day … I can say that the administration wants to move forward with the project as soon as possible since it’s such an important and needed one.”

“[Having the] best facilities possible are vital to Fairfield’s profile and reputation because they help to attract and retain the best students, faculty and staff possible, and provide the spaces that enhance the quality of academic and student life,” stated Reed.

Pellegrino echoed Reed’s statement, noting the importance of the RecPlex to the Fairfield community. He also commented on the nature of Fairfield students, describing the student body as “health-minded” and “athletically-inclined.”

Junior Kelly Miraglia said she is “really excited … I think it’ll be a great addition to the school. It’ll help draw in even more prospective students with a really nice facility for students to use … I think that it can only benefit the school.”

On the other hand, Anne Marie Teti ‘14 wishes the renovation could have been done sooner.

“I go pretty often to the gym and although it’s not bad, the renovations definitely would have been a great help … The weight room needs to be redone and we need more machines. I’m glad they’re finally fixing it up though,” said Teti.

According to Pellegrino, “On today’s college campus, students want to see a high quality recreational facility … that is particularly true at Fairfield, where student usage of the facility, along with participation in fitness classes, sports clubs and intramurals, tracks extremely high.”

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