Infrastructure work begins at stadium site

Throughout July and August, infrastructure work will take place at the stadium site. This will help prepare the site for construction of the revitalized stadium, which is slated to begin immediately following the Gaels’ 2015 athletic season.

The infrastructure work will include:

  • Asphalt removal
  • Excavation for new site services
  • Tree and shrub removal where needed (as identified in the project’s site plan submission, along with details about tree renewal)
  • Installation of new water and sewer lines, including new underground utility access points
  • Installation of new electrical services and a telecommunications duct bank

The revitalization of Richardson Stadium is not just the building of a new stadium; it is the building of a strong varsity sports program for Queen’s, and of a strong university overall. The project is a priority within Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign.

Construction of the new stadium is expected to be completed by the start of the 2016 athletic season.

Stadium namesake inducted into local sports hall of fame

Nearly 100 years after his death on a First World War battlefield, George Taylor Richardson has been recognized by his hometown for his athletic accomplishments.

Richardson is one of the greats of Queen’s University’s sporting history, first as a top talent in the early days of hockey, and then as a star football player. Richardson Stadium is named in his memory.

On May 1, Richardson was inducted into the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame for his achievements in a life cut short by war.

Born and raised in Kingston, Richardson belonged to perhaps the most prominent family in the history of Queen’s University – his brother James Armstrong Richardson served as chancellor of Queen’s and his sister Agnes Richardson Etherington was a mainstay of life at the university and donated her house, now known as the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. James Richardson’s daughter, Agnes Benidickson (BA’41, LLD’79), served as the second chancellor in the family from 1980 to 1996 while other Richardsons have served on the Board of Trustees, and the family has made considerable donations to Queen’s libraries and lectureships.

George Taylor Richardson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering from Queen’s in 1906.

Read more in the Queen’s Gazette.

Construction timeline update

While the majority of stadium construction remains slated to begin at the conclusion of the 2015 football season, initial infrastructure work at the stadium site is now expected to begin this summer. The preparatory work will allow for more flexibility in the construction schedule.

The work will consist of work on the site infrastructure located to the east and south ends of the existing stadium. This will include excavating, laying piping, and drainage work to prepare for the main work to begin at the end of the football season.

The revitalization of Richardson Stadium is not just the building of a new stadium; it is the building of a strong varsity sports program for Queen’s, and of a strong university overall. The project is a priority within Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign.

Construction of the new stadium is expected to be completed by the start of the 2016 football season.

Upcoming stadium meetings

In the next two weeks, the university will host two meetings – one for students and one for the general public – to discuss the Richardson Stadium revitalization project.

The meeting for students will take place Wednesday, March 25 from 12 – 1 pm in the Lower Ceilidh of the JDUC.

The public meeting will take place Tuesday, March 31 from 6:30 – 8 pm in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at 28 Division St., room 101.

Both meetings will include a presentation outlining current design plans, and provide opportunities for those in attendance to ask questions and submit feedback.

All are welcome to attend.

Richardson Stadium meeting held

On Feb. 26, the university hosted a meeting for West Campus neighbours to discuss the Richardson Stadium revitalization project.

Attendees were shown photos of the current stadium, conceptual images of design plans, and an architect’s video showing what the new stadium might look like.

Richardson Stadium has been a fixture at Queen’s for nearly 100 years. The original Richardson Stadium was built in 1921 and located on what is now Tindall Field, and in 1971 was rebuilt on its current site at West Campus. More than four decades later, the stadium is showing its age. In May 2013 an engineering report recommended the removal of sections of bleachers and later that summer temporary seating was installed at the field.

The project is a priority within Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign. It is the next step in the university’s efforts to enhance its athletics and recreation facilities to promote the health and wellness of all students. Other recent projects include the Athletics and Recreation Centre and the redevelopment of Tindall, Nixon, and Miklas-McCarney fields.

The university plans to host an open public meeting on the revitalization project in March.

Light testing at stadium

As plans for the revitalized stadium develop, the university has engaged a lighting consultant to look at light levels at the current stadium as well as light levels for the new stadium.

To this end, the stadium lighting supplier and the consultant will be measuring existing light levels near the stadium on Wednesday, February 25 from approximately 3 – 8 pm. The stadium’s lights are expected to be on during that time.

Anyone with questions about the site work can contact Physical Plant Services’ FixIt desk at (613)533-6075 between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm.

Site tests at Richardson Stadium

From Tuesday, February 17 to Tuesday, February 24 work crews will be on West Campus drilling boreholes at the Richardson Stadium site.

Approximately 30 boreholes will be made at various locations around the site. The boreholes are used to determine bedrock depth, gather soil samples, and confirm soil density.

This work is standard practice for large construction projects and is being done well in advance of the construction of the stadium itself, which is not slated to begin until fall 2015.

The work will be done during daytime work hours and is not expected to be disruptive to those nearby.

Anyone with questions about the site work can contact Physical Plant Services’ FixIt desk at (613)533-6075.

*Please note: due to cold weather, this work will continue throughout the week of March 9. This post will be updated to reflect new dates as they become available.*

Board approves stadium revitalization

Queen’s Board of Trustees has approved the Richardson Stadium revitalization project, at a cost of $20.27 million. The board made the decision at its December meeting. Construction of the stadium is expected to begin after the Gaels’ 2015 football season, and completed by fall 2016. The revitalization is the latest phase of the Fields & Stadium project supporting athletics and recreation through the construction of Nixon, Tindall, and Miklas-McCarney fields.

Richardson approved

Plans for the revitalization were kicked off in March with the announcement of a $10 million pledge to the stadium project from Queen’s alumnus and former Gael Stu Lang and his wife Kim. That announcement was followed by news of a $5 million contribution from the Richardson Foundation. Other donors have also come forward to contribute to the project, bringing the total amount raised to more than $17 million. The university will contribute an additional $3 million for infrastructure support of the stadium, bringing the total funding to $20.27 million.

“I am very pleased that the board has approved the plan to proceed with a very exciting project for both the Queen’s and Kingston communities,” says Principal Daniel Woolf. “A revitalized stadium will be a point of pride and further enhance health and wellness at Queen’s as well as the competitiveness of several of our sports programs.”

With board approval, the university will engage the Queen’s and Kingston communities in discussions around the stadium. A website dedicated to the project will be launched in early January, and public meetings will be held to solicit feedback.

The new stadium, which will be amongst the top facilities of its kind in Ontario, will include an artificial turf field, state-of-the-art scoreboard, and bowl-style seating. Temporary stands will be installed at the north end of the stadium, pending additional fundraising for a pavilion that will complete the bowl design. The revitalized stadium will be in the same location as the current stadium, and have a similar capacity of approximately 9,000. It will be home to the Queen’s soccer and football teams, and used by a number of other teams and clubs.

The Fields & Stadium Cabinet is chaired by Paul and Vicki Hand.

“We are incredibly grateful to our generous benefactors for making the dream of a revitalized Richardson Stadium a reality,” says Tom Harris, Vice-Principal (Advancement). “Without philanthropic support, this project would not be happening.”

The current stadium is in urgent need of revitalization. Originally built as a temporary facility more than 40 years ago, parts of the stadium date back to 1920, and it no longer meets the needs of student-athletes and spectators. In 2013, following an engineering report, sections of bleachers at the stadium were decommissioned and replaced with temporary seating. Without a revitalization the stadium would continue to deteriorate to the point where the university would have to invest significant resources to repair or renovate the existing structure.

“A revitalized stadium will be extremely beneficial to the health and wellness of all of our student-athletes, from varsity teams to recreational programs, and also be a great asset to our community partners,” says Leslie Dal Cin, Executive Director, Athletics and Recreation.

More details about the stadium’s design will be released as community engagement moves forward.

Richardson Stadium Backgrounder

A. Britton Smith donates $10 million to Queen’s

Even though he did not attend Queen’s, A. Britton Smith, QC, has supported the university for many years because of the many connections and ties he has with the institution. Mr. Smith’s most recent gift to Queen’s is a $10-million donation that includes $9 million for the School of Nursing and Department of Surgery and $1 million towards the current project to revitalize Richardson Stadium.

Britton Smith

“I feel very close to Queen’s even if I didn’t study at the university,” says Mr. Smith, who grew up in a family that believed in giving back to the community. “As a boy, I grew up near campus and watched football games at the old Richardson Stadium. I met [my wife] Sally at a Sunday tea held at a professor’s home. I have many family members, friends and business associates who are Queen’s graduates, and, of course, in 2009 the university was kind enough to award me an honorary degree.”

The series of gifts will support:

  • The establishment of the Sally Smith Chair in Nursing
  • The establishment of the Smith Chair in Surgical Research
  • The establishment of the Britton Smith Chair in Surgery

An additional portion of the gift will go towards a chair in orthopaedic research, with another portion dedicated to a nursing endowment.

Representing the largest donation to the School of Nursing in its 73-year history, the Sally Smith Chair in Nursing is named for Mr. Smith’s teenage sweetheart and later his wife of 68 years, Edith “Sally” (Carruthers) Smith. She died in June 2012 after a courageous battle with cancer.

“Brit Smith has made a tremendous gift that will propel Queen’s forward in several key areas,” said Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor. “His gifts focus on many top priorities for the university and we are tremendously thankful for his generosity. Chairs will support the excellence of our faculty and their scholarly achievements and his gift to revitalizing Richardson Stadium gives further momentum to the project.”

The Smith Chair in Surgical Research will provide intellectual leadership in research. The Britton Smith Chair in Surgery will support the activities of the head of the Department of Surgery in promoting the academic mission of Queen’s University.

“On behalf of faculty, students and staff, I want to thank Brit Smith for sharing our vision to support excellence in health care. His generosity will strengthen the School of Nursing and Department of Surgery in their quests to advance care, education and research. Ultimately, our patients will be the greatest beneficiaries,” said Richard Reznick, Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences.

In addition to these most recent gifts, Mr. Smith has previously given his support to Athletics and Recreation, Queen’s School of Business, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, student assistance, the Human Mobility Research Centre and the new Medical Building.

Mr. Smith graduated from the Royal Military College in 1940. He served four years overseas during the Second World War with the Canadian army in England and in France, where in July 1944 he was critically wounded and won the Military Cross for his battlefield bravery. Mr. Smith went on to earn his law degree in 1954 then started Homestead Land Holdings, which this year is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Homestead has grown to become one of Ontario’s biggest and most successful residential landlords with more than 24,000 units.

Richardson Foundation gives $5 million for stadium revitalization

Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Queen’s University, announced today that the Richardson Foundation, the giving arm of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and Affiliated Companies, has pledged $5 million toward the revitalization of the stadium that bears the family’s name. This news follows an announcement in March that Stu Lang and his wife Kim pledged $10 million for the stadium.

“The histories of Queen’s, Kingston and the Richardson family are closely intertwined and I am sincerely thankful that the Richardsons have decided to continue that legacy through this remarkable gift,” says Principal Woolf. “George Taylor Richardson Memorial Stadium has been a fixture at Queen’s for nearly a century and we are now one step closer to securing its future for the coming decades.”

The original stadium was built in 1920 through a gift of $50,000 from alumnus and former chancellor James Armstrong Richardson. It was named for his younger brother, George, also a Queen’s graduate, who was killed in France during the First World War. The family’s support for Queen’s extends well beyond the stadium and their philanthropy has enriched many aspects of campus life. Agnes Etherington Art Centre is named for the sister of James and George, and Benidickson House (the east wing of Summerhill), Benidickson Field and the Agnes Benidickson Tricolour Award are all named for James’s daughter who served as chancellor from 1980-1996.

“The Richardson family, firm and foundation have a profound connection to Kingston and to Queen’s University,” stated Hartley Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and a Trustee of the Richardson Foundation. “My great-great grandfather established a grain merchandising business in Kingston in 1857, and he also instilled in his family the importance of giving back to the community. Queen’s University has been part of this philosophy throughout several generations, and this latest gift allows us the privilege of supporting an incredibly exciting initiative for the university while continuing to honour our great-uncle’s memory.”

The revitalization of Richardson Stadium is a $25-million priority within Queen’s $500-million Initiative Campaign. It is the next step in the university’s efforts to enhance its athletics and recreation facilities to promote the health and wellness of all students. Other recent projects include the Athletics and Recreation Centre, two new practice fields on west campus, and the redevelopment of Tindall and Nixon fields.

“For students and grads alike, Richardson Stadium reminds us of Queen’s legendary school spirit and the importance of our time at the university,” says Gord Nixon, Chair of the Initiative Campaign and President & CEO of the Royal Bank of Canada. “We are deeply grateful to the trustees of the Richardson Foundation for helping make the stadium’s revitalization possible – their philanthropic efforts have impacted countless initiatives across Canada, and Queen’s is deeply proud of its long association with them.”

A revitalized Richardson Stadium would also be of benefit to the broader Kingston community, and the university is committed to consulting with neighbouring residents, city officials, and the local sports community as specific plans for the stadium are developed.

The Initiative Campaign is the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the university’s history. The goal is to raise half a billion dollars to ensure Queen’s future as a destination for exceptional people. The campaign will nurture a supportive campus community, enhance the student learning experience, and secure a global reputation in discovery and inquiry.