COLLEGEVILLE / ST. JOSEPH -- The public is invited to groundbreaking ceremonies this week on the campuses of St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict.

St. John's will hold a groundbreaking event tomorrow (Thursday) for Gagliardi Field, a new multi-purpose practice facility to be used for football, soccer, rugby and lacrosse. The facility is set to be finished before the start of the football season and they will begin raising money for a seasonal bubble dome this fall.

Gagliardi Field with Seasonal Done (Photo: St. John's University)

The field is named after legendary football coach John Gagliardi, who will be present at the ceremony.

"John has done so much not only for our athletic department and football program, but also our great university," says SJU Athletic Director Tom Stock. "It's so great we're able to honor him properly by naming Gagliardi Field after him and his family."

The 4:00 p.m. dedication across from Warner Palaestra will feature several of Gagliardi's family members, former players and St. John's alumni followed by a barbecue social.

Stock says another dedication ceremony will take place on Saturday at the baseball field. After game one of a doubleheader with Concordia College, an unveiling will be held by a surprise donor.

Ceremonies aren't limited to St. John's, as St. Ben's will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for a new multi-purpose complex to be built on former farmland between Centennial Commons and the Renner House.

Photo: College of St. Benedict

St. Ben's Athletic Director Glen Werner says the 14,000 square-foot facility will house two soccer fields, two softball fields, and three spaces for intramural sports and recreational activities.

The ceremony will be held at 5:45 p.m. Friday on the lawn of the Renner House.

"It's a celebration of 30 years of women's athletics at St. Ben's," Werner says. "We'll have a student speaker, president Hinton will make some remarks, and Sister Lois -- our number one Blazer fan -- will bless the project, bless the field, and get us ready to welcome this huge addition to campus."

Werner says the new complex will be finished in the fall of 2017.

Photo: College of St. Benedict
Photo: College of St. Benedict