Important Daly Field Announcement

October 22, 2015

Simmons soccer player

Daly Field Athletic Complex expected in time for Fall 2016 pre-season training.

This is an exciting time for Simmons because we have signed all the documents needed to move into the final phase of our Daly Field Athletic Complex project. The project began over three years ago, in 2012, with conversations between Simmons and the Allston-Brighton youth and athletic community about our shared need for improved sports facilities. 

As you know from Strategy 2015, recruiting student athletes is a key strategic initiative for us in the highly competitive world of undergraduate admissions. At this moment, the Enrollment Management team is hard at work recruiting the Class of 2020. To date, more than 10% of the inquiry pool has indicated an interest in one or more Simmons athletic programs.

Our Simmons student athletes are well prepared for college. They have learned important time-management lessons through balancing the demands of academic coursework with competing in their respective sports. Also, they retain and graduate at very high rates, provide leadership and spirit at the College, and are highly competitive in their academic studies.

Yet another important benefit from this innovative public-private partnership is the opportunity to broaden our commitment to girls’ and women’s leadership development in light of a growing body of research confirming the positive impact that competitive, organized sports have on the development of successful women leaders.

In recognition of these factors, the opportunity to lease Daly Field for twenty years (with an option for an additional ten years) and to build state-of-the-art, collegiate-level playing fields for our athletes is strategic and vital to the future of Simmons College.

You will see below left, an image of Daly Field today; on the right is an image of the extensive improvements planned for the complex.

Daly Field comparison

The process of securing the many regulatory approvals from local and state agencies has been complex and might make a wonderful, challenging case study for our Public Policy students and scholars. Our proposals have been approved at every level, and we are preparing to award the general construction contract, under the guidance of our Project Manager, Keri DiLeo from CSL Consulting.

We expect to “cut the ribbon” on the Daly Field Athletic Complex in August 2016, in time for fall pre-season training. It will be a truly impressive facility that will include:

  • FIELD HOUSE – 3,200 square foot energy efficient building, including a sports medicine facility, team meeting rooms and public restrooms
  • TENNIS COURTS – Six fenced NCAA standard size courts for doubles play
  • SOCCER & LACROSSE FIELDS – NCAA standard synthetic turf fields
  • SOFTBALL DIAMOND – NCAA standard with clay infield and synthetic outfield
  • FIELD HOCKEY – NCAA standard synthetic turf field
  • FOOTBALL FIELD – MIAA standard high school synthetic turf field
  • WALKING TRACK – A quarter mile, two-lane walking track
  • BIKE/WALKING PATH – A walking/bike path along the riverside of the Charles River
  • SPORTS LIGHTING – Innovative and sustainable sports lighting system 
  • DIGITAL SCORING – Customized & sustainable digital scoring and timing systems
  • SPECTATOR STADIUM SEATING WITH PRESS BOX – On combination football, soccer & lacrosse fields

Simmons College Athletics, Brighton High School and Allston-Brighton Little League will share use of Daly Field on an agreed-upon schedule that meets the needs of all the various sports teams. In addition, the facility will be open for public use seven days a week.

Philanthropic Opportunities

It is gratifying to note that the Daly Field project provides us with new philanthropic opportunities that were not previously available to Simmons. There are particular foundations and philanthropists that have a special interest in women’s athletics or in community engagement, such as our close work with the Brighton High and Allston-Brighton youth athletic community. The Simmons Advancement team is leading the effort to broaden our exposure to these sources of potential partnerships, not just in the form of financial contributions, but also through internship and research opportunities for faculty.

Daly Field Oversight

Oversight of this large project has been managed by the Simmons Building Committee, including Chief of Staff Lynda Connolly, Chair; Associate Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer Debra Orr; Director of Building & Grounds Steven Gusmini; and Athletic Director Ali Kantor.

In July, the Simmons Building Committee established the Daly Field Steering Committee to underscore the shared ownership of this important initiative, and to derive the benefit of the talent and perspectives of a wide variety of people in the Simmons community. The Daly Field Steering Committee members and key contributors include Biology and Chemistry faculty, whose experience and enthusiasm have been particularly important in addressing issues related to student engagement and the environment. I am grateful to Faculty Senate President and Professor of Biology Liz Scott, Biology Professor Randi Lite, Biology Professor Anna Aguilera, and Chemistry Professor Jenna Roecklein-Canfield for their time and talent in supporting this effort. I also am grateful for the wonderful participation of Trustee Pam Toulopoulos ’73.

The Daly Field Steering Committee benefits from the perspective of our student representatives, Sinai Sampson-Hill ’17 and Amy Wilson ’17, and from the contributions of key members of the Simmons community, including Senior Vice President of Finance & Administration Donna Ng; Vice President of Marketing Cheryl Howard; Vice President of Advancement Marianne Lord; Vice President of Enrollment Management John Dolan; Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs Sarah Neill; Vice President and General Counsel Kathy Rogers; Associate Vice President of Advancement Laura Brink; Director of Capital Giving Maria Mike-Mayer; Director of Online Communications & Design Courtney Dee; Internal Controller Susan Keller; Public Relations Manager Kalimah Knight; Public Safety Interim Chief Vito Scotti; and Director of Sponsored Programs Jon Kimball.

The Simmons Building Committee meets bi-weekly to ensure compliance with deadlines for the project management efforts, and to assist the Steering Committee with its many initiatives.

Living Our Values

Simmons is proud to be part of this innovative partnership with the Allston-Brighton community and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. I encourage you to follow the transformation of this neglected parkland into a fitting testament to the vision of our founder, John Simmons and to our core values:

We are at our best when students are first.

We prepare students for life’s work.

We cross boundaries to create opportunities.

We make a collective investment in community.

It is a remarkable moment for Simmons Athletics, for the Simmons community, and for the Allston-Brighton community. I look forward to the time when all of us will be cheering our teams on our new home field.

Helen Drinan formal signature