Plan to update athletic facilites remains unchanged
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 21:02
The athletic facilities plan that was to span 10 years worth of building new stadiums, etc. remains generally the same, according to Richard Sander, interim athletic director.
The plan originally called for building new facilities for golf, softball, baseball, soccer, tennis, basketball and track. So far, all of those facilities are finished, except for the finalization of the baseball field, the outdoor track, and the new basketball arena.
With the planned implementation of football, that plan may be changed.
Right now, the main topic of discussion is football. Several questions have been raised about where the stadium will be built and how it will be funded. If the university starts a football program and has to pay for a new roof for the Mini-Dome, then the budget will need to be changed to cover the increase in spending.
“If football does happen,” Sander said, “one of the arguments is going to be, ‘Will we build a field on campus?’”
The three prospective locations for a football stadiums are on campus. One is near the Summers-Taylor soccer stadium; another is also on the west side of campus near the parking garage that is under construction; and a third is near the Buccaneer Ridge apartment complex off Southwest Avenue.
Other than football, basketball arena plans are being considered.
One option is to build a new arena/convocation center; the other is to re-do the Mini-Dome.
Repairing the roof of the Mini-Dome will cost approximately $4 million, Sander said. This project would most likely not be completed until the summer of 2014.
For this work to be done, the building would have to be shut down.
Sander said progress on the baseball stadium is good. “Whenever you open a facility, there are always a few glitches.” He said that the staff has been working hard, however, and any issues that arise are quickly fixed.
Once the grand opening of Thomas Stadium happens, everything should be on point and ready, Sander said.