Ball State University will build an indoor practice facility for its athletic teams. As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, school trustees call it a “game changer.”
Ball State says it hasn’t hired an architect for the project yet, but initial plans show it to be a regulation-size football turf field inside a shell-style building, with batting cages, storage, and restrooms.
Ball State is the only school in its Mid-American athletic conference to not yet have such a facility. Director of Athletics Beth Goetz says the new space is greatly needed.
“In a climate that, as we all know, isn’t sunny and 80 every day, we often run out of indoor space and indoor time.”
Athletics says the space can easily be used by football, baseball, softball, and soccer. It also expects to book use from the university’s marching band and for alumni events.
The school’s Vice President for Business Affairs says the $15 million project will be funded entirely from donations. In fact, $13.7 million has already been raised, and he expects the rest – and more – to come in soon.
The new building will sit south of Scheumann Stadium along Bethel Avenue. That’s next to the newer football practice facility and near the Alumni Center.
Though the project was approved by Ball State trustees, it will need to be approved by the state. If that happens on schedule, construction could begin in the spring of 2020 and will take about a year.
The new practice facility joins many construction projects already underway or planned on the Muncie campus. Currently, there’s a health professions building, a residence hall, and a dining hall being constructed. Next on the plans is building a new science building, renovating and partially demolishing the existing science building, constructing a new multicultural center, and replacing an existing parking garage with a newer, larger version.