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Aerial view of new athletics and recreation corridor at SMC
Aerial view of new athletics and recreation corridor at SMC
SMC Announces New Athletic and Recreation Corridor
Release: Friday 05/05/2011 
by SMC Athletics

MORAGA, Calif. -- Saint Mary's College of California announced today plans for a new Athletic and Recreation Corridor, a $30 Million project to enhance facilities on the west portion of the Moraga campus. The new facilities will greatly improve the Saint Mary's student experience and further the legacy of Gaels baseball.

The project features include the new 50,000 square-foot Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center, a 1,500-seat baseball park and an outdoor plaza linking the new construction to the existing Korth Tennis Complex and Cottrell Softball Field.  As part of the announcement today campus leaders will break ground on the first phase of the project, a ball park for the Gaels baseball team.


"The construction of the Athletics and Recreation Corridor represents a significant event in the history of Saint Mary's athletics.  The support for Gaels athletics is, arguably, as high as it has ever been in the history of the College.  This first-class project will serve our students, the community and our athletics program for decades to come.  Our coaches, staff and student-athletes are excited to be a part of this progress and to provide a legacy of excellence to the future of Saint Mary's baseball and the athletics program overall." - Mark Orr, Director of Athletics

"At a time when California's higher education landscape remains uncertain, Saint Mary's remains committed to the student experience and providing our hallmark whole-person education - mind, body and spirit," said Brother Ronald Gallagher, president of Saint Mary's College.

"We foresee the Joseph L. Alioto Recreation Center as being one of the most utilized spaces on campus. It will become a central hub for student life," said Gallagher. Currently, more than 75 percent of Saint Mary's students participate in some type of intramural activity, league or recreational program. Most of these programs will be housed in the new center.

The Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation has provided the lead gift of $10 million for the Recreation Center portion of the project.  The Trustees of the Foundation requested that the facility be named for Joseph L. Alioto, a member of Saint Mary's class of 1937 and former mayor of the City of San Francisco. Bernie Orsi '65, a trustee of the Foundation, explained that Alioto was instrumental in the business lives of Paul Kalmanovitz and Raymond Syufy '40, as well as served as Orsi's mentor. Syufy's sons and their wives Raymond W. '84 and Ricki Syufy, and Joseph '87 and Michelle Growney Syufy '88 are also major supporters of the project. 

To date the College has raised $21 million for the project and will raise the remaining amount over the next year.

"Saint Mary's College continues to thrive and these new facilities are critically important to our long-term success, both in sustaining a vibrant campus community and attracting future classes of students," said Gallagher.  Applications for undergraduate admission jumped 32 percent over last year on the heels of an all time high Spring 2011 enrollment.

The recreation and aquatics center will include a comprehensive fitness center, multi-purpose swimming pool with adjacent lawn and plaza, multi-purpose rooms, locker rooms and three full-sized courts which can be used for a multitude of activities.  

Saint Mary's College has a storied baseball history.  Sixty-two Gaels have gone on to play in major league baseball including Hall of Famer Harry Hooper, Von Hayes, Tom Candiotti and most recently Mark Teahen, current third baseman with the Chicago White Sox.  Baseball was the first intercollegiate sport played at Saint Mary's dating back to 1889.

"The baseball facility will open new avenues to securing the top players in the country and will change the baseball program forever. We have taken a weakness of our program and are now turning it into one of our biggest strengths," said Saint Mary's Baseball Head Coach Jedd Soto.

For more information on the new Athletics and Recreation Corridor, including artist's renderings, visit

The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For nearly 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 3,800 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.