Thanks to generous donations from Queen's alumni, the university is set to build a new pavilion for Richardson Stadium that will provide enhanced amenities for student-athletes, students, coaches, spectators, and community members.
This new addition will be the finishing touch on the 2016 redevelopment of Richardson Stadium and complete the vision for a rejuvenated stadium. The groundbreaking later this year coincides with the 100th anniversary of the opening of a George Taylor Richardson Memorial Stadium on campus.
Queen's announced and celebrated the gifts behind the project during an online event on April 15. Over 300 donors contributed over $11 million to make the pavilion possible, with the lead gift coming from Stu (Sc'74) and Kim Lang (Artsci'76). Stu Lang played for the Gaels as an undergraduate at Queen's, and went on to a professional career in the Canadian Football League. He also served as coach of the University of Guelph Gryphons, where he remains an adviser for the team.
"This is a special day that has been several years in the making. Both Kim and I are so proud to be able to attend this announcement and to help see this amazing vision through to its conclusion," says Stu Lang. "However, we are only two of more than 300 donors and alumni who have come together, like a great sports team with a common goal. I think I can safely speak on behalf of all past and present football Gaels when I say that this Pavilion will be a point of pride for Queen's University, and something that brings all of us together as a community."
Major donors to the project also include Joe and Lucie Pal, Sandra Plumley, Bob and Mary McFarlane, Don and Sheila Bayne, Paul and Vicki Hand, Skip and Debbie Eaman, members of the Red Banner Society and Football Management Committee, the Football Doctors, and the members of the 1978, 1983 and 1992 Vanier Cup teams.
"The new pavilion will greatly enhance Queen's Athletics and its programs and would not be possible without the generous contributions of many. These gifts exemplify the Queen's spirit and we thank all the donors for their generosity to Queen's," says Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane.
During the online event, participants got a chance to see renderings of the new pavilion and hear from student-athletes about the impact the new construction will have. Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand was also on hand to thank the donors.
"Sports have a way of bringing all of us together and today's announcement is welcome news for Queen's and our entire community," says Bertrand. "We are grateful for the vision, leadership and generosity of Stu and Kim Lang, the RBS Committee, and all the alumni, teams, and community members that have contributed to the Pavilion. It will be a place where, at long last, we will be able to gather together again and cheer on our student-athletes. Until that day, we know the Pavilion will be filled with the spirit of Queen's."
Benefits of the pavilion
When the pavilion is completed, it will provide coaches and student-athletes with modern training and competition spaces as well as athletic therapy, hydrotherapy facilities, meeting rooms, and other sport-related amenities. It will also create a new team room for football that has direct field access.
"The pavilion at Richardson Stadium will add tremendous excitement to both our community of athletes, as well as all of our supporters. Queen's is privileged to already have such an incredible stadium, as well as world-class training facilities, and the pavilion will just take that to another level," says Rasheed Tucker, a third-year Commerce student-athlete who plays running back for the football team.
The two-story pavilion will be built to fit into the existing landscape of the West Campus. It will include facilities that will enhance the training and competition environment for varsity sports, expand opportunities for varsity and recreation programs such as intramurals, make usage more gender-inclusive, and support a broad range of activities for students and community members.
"The Queen's community is very proud of our outstanding student-athletes. This new pavilion will provide them, as well as all of our students and local community members with enhanced services and opportunities. It will also position Queen's as a national leader in university athletics facilities," says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs.
For spectators, the pavilion will connect the entire stadium at the concourse level and provide the permanent home of the Gaels Club, which will offer concessions as well as an elevated viewing area. It will also create a new prominent entrance that will serve as the gateway to the stadium.
Kingston community members will benefit as well, as the pavilion will provide increased access to Richardson Stadium for participants in programs such as the Junior Gaels. The Junior Gaels encourages youth in the Kingston area to excel in both academics and athletics by connecting them with Queen's student-athletes who serve as mentors for youth in a variety of sports, including soccer and football.
The development of the pavilion will begin in 2021, with construction expected to start in January 2022 and be completed by April 2023.
Learn more about the pavilion on the Queen's Facilities website.
Find out more about impactful gifts to Queen's and how to give to the university on the Queen's Alumni website.