Though USC’s only intramural field next to Heritage Hall will be replaced to make room for the newly announced athletic facility, officials say they do not have any finalized plans for relocating teams and students during construction.A new intramural field will be constructed where the Music Practice and Instructional Center is now located, according to Arvin Varma, associate director of facilities and recreational sports.The construction of the athletic center — a $70-million, 110,000-square-foot facility — is estimated to take 18 months to complete, with construction beginning in January.During construction, USC intramural teams will share other fields for practice and games.“We’re working with athletics to be able to use the Brian Kennedy Field which is next to Howard Jones [Field] and also get some time on McAlister Field,” Varma said.PIC already closed last month and the intramural field will also close as the season comes to an end.“Right now it’s probably going to close the first week in December … It might close right after Thanksgiving,” Varma said. “Whatever make-up games we have to do, we will do on the other fields like McAlister, Cromwell and Brian Kennedy.”Although news of the construction was announced on Oct. 30, the idea for the project has been a long time coming.“It’s been on the table for a good amount of time,” Varma said. “Athletics has been talking about it for a while. It’s something they’ve talked about for a few years and they looked at the [intramural field] and that was the space they suggested.”There was much hesitation, however, about the new athletic facility because of questions about where a new intramural field would be located.“We were definitely concerned because initially there wasn’t a plan to put in a field. Now with the new design and the field space that we will get, it will actually be, in square footage, a little bit bigger than what we currently have,” Varma said.Another advantage of the new field is that it will be turfed, Varma said. This eliminates the need to shut the field down multiple times a year for weeks at a time to re-sod it.Nicole Martin, a freshman majoring in neuroscience, said though she is not looking forward to the construction, the end result will worth it.“I’d rather not have it shut down for 18 months, but turf fields are going to be nicer to play on,” Martin said. “I just prefer turf in general and it will be easier to maintain so it won’t get shut down to get redone.”There is still some concern, Martin said, about whether intramural sports will get the field time needed in the coming months.“They should have [a new] field first before they decide to construct a new building before they shut it down so that intramurals can still be strongly supported at USC,” Martin said. “I think it’s going to be very complicated to jump around fields and that there is a large potential for a lack of field availability for intramural sports because they’re not club sports or an official sport.”Details about field scheduling and the official closing of the intramural field should be finalized within a week, Varma said.Though a lack of intramural space has been a concern for many students over the years, they might soon find some additional relief. During a discussion with students on Tuesday as part of the Campus Conversation Series, USC President C.L. Max Nikias said although plans had not yet been finalized, university officials were looking into adding an additional intramural field to the University Village after it is redeveloped.Correction: A previous version of this article said the athletic complex would cost $70,000. The real cost is estimated to be $70 million. An infographic that previously ran with the story was also incorrect, but has been removed. The Daily Trojan apologizes for the errors.
Kolkata: The city’s air quality index became ‘severe’ on the New Year’s Day morning, 10 hours after the state pollution control board’s computerised monitors showed it to be ‘very poor’ at midnight. A West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) official on Tuesday said one of the key factors for the change in pollution level within 10 hours is bursting of firecrackers to celebrate the new year. At midnight when the celebrations began, the air quality index (AQI) read 374 PM 2.5 at the air monitoring station of WBPCB at Rabindra Bharati University, one of the two automated air monitoring stations of WBPCB in the city, a WBPCB official said Tuesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe AQI at the university read 400 PM 2.5 at 10 AM Tuesday and remained the same at 11 AM, the official said. The AQI is an indicator of air pollution caused by three pollutants — NO2, PM 10 and PM 2.5. The index indicates air quality as ‘good’ for values of 0-100, ‘moderate’ for 101 -200 and ‘poor’ for 201-300. Particles less than 2.5 PM (micrometres) are called PM 2.5. They are approximately 1/30th of the average width of human hair and is generally described as fine particles. PM 10, on the other hand, is particulate matter 10 micrometres or less in diameter, an official explained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe AQI between 301-399 is called ‘very poor’ and it causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure, the WBPCB official said adding that it causes respiratory illness on prolonged exposure. The reading at 400 was marked as ‘severe’, a notch above the very poor and such conditions affect even healthy people, he said. The AQI at the second computerised air monitoring station of WBPCB in the Victoria Memorial, located in the city’s green belt Maidan, read at 365 PM 2.5 at 10 PM on Monday. It was also termed as ‘very poor’, the official said. The reading came down to 333 PM 2.5 at 11 AM, but still it remained in the ‘very poor’ category. The AQI remained ‘very poor’ for most of the days in December and November. In November, the air pollution level was “poor” or “very poor” in 21 of the 30 days, which was unprecedented by any standard, Ajay Mittal of the ‘Kolkata Clean Air’, an environmental NGO, had said. WBPCB Chairman Kalyan Rudra said the reading of one air monitoring station at certain point of time did not project the entire situation and particles also hung heavily in air due to typical weather situations during the winter. Environmentalist S M Ghosh said the air pollution in the city reached alarming level since the past few months and installing more automatic air monitoring stations across the city will project how alarming the entire situation has turned into.