New Sports Complex-DOUBLE REPRESENTED

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Matthew L. Self

New Sports Complex:

A new building will soon begin to be constructed on Washburn’s campus and it will be all about sports. From football and soccer to baseball and volleyball, this new building will allow athletes on Washburn’s campus to train with access to far greater resources than they have previously had access too. Not only will this new building greatly benefit all of the sports teams on Washburn’s campus but it will also be a statement that Washburn’s athletes are ready to compete on a higher level than they have in the past.

A whopping six million dollars have been generously donated to Washburn to fund this massive undertaking. The money comes from a variety of sources such as alumni, local businesses, and other corporate sources in Kansas.

Many other schools in Kansas have been upgrading their sports facilities recently, giving their teams an edge in future competitions.

This new sports complex has been in the works for four years after the board of regents approved of adding the sports cross country and track and field. With the addition of two new sports to the campus there became a need for new, upgraded facilities to be used exclusively by Washburn students. Other colleges in Kansas have also upgraded their sporting facilities, hoping to gain an advantage over other teams. But with this new building, Washburn will be ready to field the best athletes its sports teams can produce.

Now, all sixteen sports teams on campus will be able to train and improve themselves under one roof. Acquiring the necessary funds to begin work on the building and putting it out for bid have been the main roadblocks to actually starting the construction process but with the funds in hand, all the college needs to do now is put the building up for bid.

Bruce Steinbrock, the assistant athletic director at Washburn, is very optimistic about the new sports facility. He believes that it will change the face of Washburn and of Topeka as well. He also hopes that this new facility will draw in more recruits from around Kansas and beyond to Washburn’s sports programs.

“This will also make an impact on the city of Topeka by hosting national events and that sort of thing. While it’s an indoor practice facility and the focus certainly is Washburn athletics it is going to make a great impact on campus as well as in the rest of the city,” Bruce said.

This new facility will also include a two-hundred meter banked oval track that will benefit the track and cross country teams and an indoor turf field that will primarily be used by sports such as football, soccer and baseball. The turf will aid recovering athletes who are suffering from injuries as well as the turf field inside will be less painful on their joints than practicing on the hardwood floor of Lee arena. While the current facilities in Lee arena and the workout room for the sporting teams has been adequate for them to use so far, the upgraded space in the new building will help these incredible athletes hone their skills in a much improved environment.

Harley Douglas, Washburn’s head baseball coach, is also very positive about this new facility being built on campus. The indoor facility will allow his team to practice and train without the worry of bad weather during the early months of the year. Cold weather, snow and rain will no longer be an issue for the baseball team or even any other sports team on campus once the building is completed.  He believes that it is past time that a new facility was added to campus not only for the benefit of the baseball team, but to all sports teams on campus.

“The players are excited, we’re still a year or so away from construction but we use it on the recruiting aspect of things and it’s been a big seller for us. It shows a big commitment to athletics, which in this conference means a lot because there’s a lot of teams and a lot of universities that are putting up some nice facilities,” Harley said.

This new facility will be located on the south side of campus between the baseball field and the softball practice field. A ceremonial ground breaking event is expected to take place on an undisclosed date at the site of future construction sometime this spring.