Quinnipiac partners with North Haven in renovating track and field complex

June 22, 2023

President Judy Olian celebrates Quinnipiac’s partnership with the North Haven community

Quinnipiac’s continuing partnership with the Town of North Haven community was recently celebrated at the grand re-opening of North Haven’s newly renovated Vanacore Track and Field Complex. The $2.25 million project received a boost of funding contributed by the university.

Each year, Quinnipiac voluntarily contributes to the Town of North Haven to supplement state payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) for colleges in Connecticut towns. Quinnipiac’s assistance to North Haven promotes projects which better the community, said Lynn Sadowski, North Haven's director of public works.

Sadowski engineered the North Haven Board of Education project to renovate its 41-year-old track and field, located at North Haven Middle School. Sadowski said the project, supported by federal American Rescue Plan Act funding as well as a Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant, was initially focused on reconstructing the track. However, it grew to include replacing the football field at its center. The additional work involved installing an irrigation system, new loam and seeding, and more, adding up to an additional project cost of approximately $276,000, she said.

“Quinnipiac University came in with the PILOT payment to supplement the additional work so we were able to do the field, the irrigation system, the lawn and seed and we were also able to upgrade the scoreboard and the lighting. It was a terrific thing,” said Sadowski.

On May 15, Quinnipiac President Judy Olian, together with vice president Bethany Zemba, gathered with local and state leaders at the track and field complex to celebrate the completion of the year-long renovation project. The Town of North Haven and its Board of Education also commemorated the support of Quinnipiac University and Olian with a bronze plaque installed at the field.

Sadowski said Olian has been a champion of assisting the Town of North Haven with efforts benefiting its educational community, from projects such as upgrading elementary school playscapes to supporting the new public-school track and field complex.

“President Olian is somebody with really great forethought for the future," said Sadowski. "She’s just phenomenal to work with."

Quinnipiac’s North Haven campus first welcomed students to its 105-acre location at 370 Basset Road in 2009, the same year Sadowski began her role with the Town of North Haven. Sadowski said Quinnipiac has developed a long-standing relationship with the Town of North Haven, and not only through funding support supplementing PILOT.

“The Quinnipiac Big Event is another amazing program that has an impact on our community,” said Sadowski.

Founded at Quinnipiac in 2010, the annual Big Event is Quinnipiac's largest, single-day, student-run community service project. Since 2011, Sadowski has coordinated with Quinnipiac students to assist with blight prevention efforts at North Haven homes and properties in disrepair.

“Most of the properties belong to folks who are elderly and don’t have the means to clean up their properties," said Sadowski. "Every year, I gather a list of eight to 12 homes and Quinnipiac students go out and clean up and bring everything to the curb for our public works crews to gather. Our senior citizens love them and that's another facet that I just love about Quinnipiac."

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