The University of Mary Washington’s rugby field is currently undergoing a full renovation—though the men’s club team may not be able to play on it in the fall.
The field, along Hanover Street at the school’s Battleground Athletic Complex, is in the midst of a $250,000 renovation, according to UMW athletic director Ken Tyler.
The field will receive new sod that is better for high-impact sports, a new drainage system and a tiered brick seating area built into the hillside to replace the current metal bleachers.
All UMW men’s rugby club activities were suspended indefinitely in March after audio surfaced of the team chanting a song with violent, sexually explicit lyrics. The chant was recorded at an off-campus party at the end of the fall semester.
The women’s rugby team and sports camps will be able to use the field, which should be completed in early summer.
The school is also about to begin a $2 million renovation of the track team’s facilities in the same outdoor complex.
Tyler said that project, which will include a new drainage system, track surface and a reconfigured jump and throw area, will allow UMW to meet NCAA standards. It will be finished around April 2016, in time for the school to host its conference championship
Tyler said there are additional, long-term improvements in the works, to update trails, build locker rooms and install lighting.
“We’re excited about the improvements from a safety, usage and aesthetic point of view,” Tyler said.