LANSING, N.Y.—Though fans may have some gripes with the extra distance off campus, Cornell University’s plans to relocate Hoy Field come with at least one beneficiary: Lansing sports and recreation.

The bleachers at Hoy Field have been disassembled and will be moved to Lansing High School (and middle and elementary school) for their use, likely starting with fall sports later this year. The seats behind Hoy’s home plate and surrounding bleachers will be used at the baseball and softball fields at Lansing’s campus, saving the school district between $300,000-$500,000.

Though the school is planning new bleachers at the new location, the Hoy Field bleachers are only 10 years old and those responsible for the construction at the current field felt it would be a waste to dispose of them or sell them for scrap.

“We’re looking at this really nice bleacher system and everything else,” said Bill Reilly of J.P. Reilly Construction, the company working on the project. “We were spitballing different ways we could find a way to repurpose or re-use some things and help local communities out, because we’ve enjoyed a lot of work around here.”

Reilly’s friendship with Patrick Hornbrook, Lansing High School’s principal, helped lay the groundwork for the bleacher donation, though the workers said they were always looking for a recipient locally—as a gesture for all the work they’ve been given around the area.

“To recreate [the bleachers] would be astronomical, to just throw it away is not something we were willing to [do],” said Reilly. “It’s just a little extra effort.”

Kasey Eiklor, the field representative and apprentice coordinator for the Laborers Local 785 union, said he was using the project to get some experience for his younger workers, particularly emphasizing the need for young workers in the trades to see unions giving back to the community. He also said he hoped the visibility of the project, and its proximity to young people about to enter the workforce, would attract more workers to the union and trades in general.

Lansing Central School District Superintendent Chris Pettograsso said the bleachers came available at a particularly opportune moment for the district. After a failed initial vote, the district got approval from voters to undertake a massive capital project for improvements to the tune of $16.8 million, with a partial focus on athletics facilities.

Capital projects can be a very gradual process, taking years to even start sometimes. But Pettograsso said the donations have helped jumpstart the process, meaning the transportation will likely be done shortly and then the school will reassemble the bleachers for their use. Pettograsso said netting and a press box will also be part of the gift, as well as possibly fencing that could be used as part of the SOBUS Field renovations in 2025.

“The quality of the bleachers is much higher grade than we would even get if we were purchasing new,” Pettograsso said, expressing gratitude to the laborers and J.P. Reilly for the donation. “They certainly went above and beyond, not only by donating but by disassembling, bringing a section over to us daily.”

“The student-athletes are quite excited, but they’re 16 and 17, they wanted these bleachers yesterday,” Pettograsso said. “They have the full belief that if we build it, those fans will come.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief at The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at