In July of 2007 Ithaca College decided to build a new Athletics and Events center. The building was decided to be located in an area where a then existing parking lot had created an impermeable surface for water. The run off from the parking lot had drained into a low lying section of woods and created a wetland. In order for the Athletics and Events center to be built, these wetlands needed to be constructed over and in cooperation with the Clean Water Act section 404, new wetlands had to be mitigated. Different sites through the surrounding towns were looked into and it was ultimately decided that the larger of the two sites would be located directly behind the construction of the Athletics and Events center and named the Raponni Wetlands. The second would be constructed 1/4 mile South and would be named the Rich Road Wetlands.
The wetland Delineation Report was sent to the Army Corps of Engineers for an approval of the project. The approval was granted and the next step was to apply for a permit. Applying for a permit was the lengthiest process of the project as there were many steps that Ithaca College needed to take before the permit was granted. The College needed to conduct an archeological study on the proposed site, as well as show where impacts where proposed to be created (Fig 1-10). After the Permit was granted, the final step before construction of the wetlands was to submit a final plan. The final plan was submitted on March 5, 2009 and prepared by Ron LeCain of LeCain Environmental Services as well as MSI landscape architects, which is the company that drew the plans for the wetlands. The final plan was approved by Ithaca College two years prior to the proposal to build the Athletics and Events center.
Since the wetlands have been in existance groups of student research teams, as well as individual student researchers have used the wetlands in their studies. In an agreement with Ithaca College, the wetlands were built with the promise that they would be an area of study for the students, as well as monitered by the students of Ithaca College. Environmental Studies now has a course titled "Senior Research" every year in which a team of students selects projects that monitor the wetland's success. In 2010 the initial project upon students return in the fall was a clearing of pervasive cat tails to promote biodiversity in the wetland cells. Other studies such as Organic matter composition, Plant diversity, Amphibian diversity, the Housing of bats, and the Economic worth have also been explored by students since the Spring of 2010.