Cafaro family gives $1.5M to YSU

Money will be used for new intramural field

Rendering courtesy of Youngstown State University This rendering shows the Cafaro Family Field, which will be on the north side of campus on Elm Street, adjacent to the Cafaro House residence hall. The Cafaro family donated $1.5 million for the complex, which will be used for intramural sports such as soccer, lacrosse and ultimate Frisbee.

YOUNGSTOWN — The Cafaro family has donated $1.5 million toward Youngstown State University’s ambitious $100 million fundraising campaign to build a new intramural field at the downtown academy.

The complex, which will be on the north side of the university on Elm Street, will be used for a variety of student recreational activities, including soccer and lacrosse, according to a news release after Thursday’s announcement.

The facility also will include restrooms, seating and fencing, and is expected to be lighted.

“As our residential student population continues to grow, it is important that we provide the recreational opportunities needed to serve those students,” said YSU President Jim Tressel, who thanked the Cafaros for “again stepping forward to meet those needs.”

Anthony Cafaro Sr., retired president of the Cafaro Company, said the Cafaros “are thrilled to be a small part of that success and to continue our ongoing commitment to the university and its students.”

What will be known as the Cafaro Family Field will be located adjacent to the Cafaro House residence hall and is expected to help serve the university’s growing student population, which is up again this year for the third time in the past four years.

Fall semester enrollment on the first day of class this year was 12,731 compared to 12,638 at the start of the 2017 fall semester. At the start of the 2014 fall semester, enrollment was 12,337, according to the university.

“With so many more students on campus, we want to make sure that we provide an environment that meets the needs of our students, including recreation,” said Joy Pokabla Byers, director of campus recreation.

The fields allow YSU to offer more intramural sports, special event opportunities and club sport competitions, including club sports such as men and women’s lacrosse, men’s soccer and ultimate Frisbee, said Pokabla.