Regents approve next stage of Cyclone Sports Complex planning

The plans for the new sports complex have undergone and will
undergo re-examinations supported by the input of community

Courtesy photo: ISU News Service

The plans for the new sports complex have undergone and will undergo re-examinations supported by the input of community members.

Jake Lovett

The Cyclone Sports Complex was initially proposed to the Board of Regents in October.

Wednesday, the project took another step forward as the Regents approved schematic designs and a budget for the complex as a part of their March meeting held at the Memorial Union.

The facility will be constructed along Mortensen Road and Ash Avenue, east of the Towers residence halls, and will house the ISU track and field, soccer and softball programs.

The plans for the facility received criticism from residents in the neighborhood surrounding the proposed site that cited concerns with lighting, noise and water drainage.

At Wednesday’s meeting, vice president of Business and Finance Warren Madden, vice president for Business and Finance, and Jamie Pollard, athletic director, said many of the community’s concerns have been addressed.

“We’re trying to be responsive to the community,” Madden said. “The other issues that have been raised outside of water management issues, we think we have addressed.”

However, the water drainage issues have been the key sticking point with several community members who have identified themselves as being in favor of the project.

Regent Robert Downer also had concerns with the potential water runoff problems created by the construction of the facility, leading to the Regents amending the athletic department’s request.

Before giving final approval, the Regents will first review the university’s plans for drainage and storm water management on the site.

Madden responded, and said that the university could provide those plans to the Regents early enough that it would not affect their planned timeline for construction.

Pollard, on the other hand, had little to say in response to the board, until President David Miles began relaying community concerns the board had received prior to the meeting.

The first suggested that the project would not be approved without city approval, which Madden confirmed, while the second said the proposed budget of $13 million had no consideration of upkeep for the complex.

“We’ve taken it on, much like we’ve taken on all of our facilities, with the plan that we have to operate them,” Pollard said. “I don’t know the basis for that comment, but the athletic department fully plans to maintain the facility.”

Miles also said he received an email from a community member that suggested the university hold off on construction of the facility until 2012 to cooperate with city reconstruction of infrastructure in the area.

Madden, though, said the university was not aware of city plans for work in the area and that he did not believe a delay in construction of the facility would change the construction’s meeting of city drainage standards.

“We hope the water flows off of this site will be better than they are today,” Madden said. “Our goal is to improve the water management in this area.”

Jack Trice Stadium scoreboard project update

The Regents also approved an updated budget plan for a new scoreboard and sound system to be constructed at the north end of Jack Trice Stadium.

The project was initially approved with a budget of $4 million, all of which is to be funded fully by the athletic department and advertising revenue.

“As the design has proceeded it has turned out that the cost of the structural support membranes to meet the wind loads and design standards have increased,” Madden told the Regents.

The structure will be constructed above the existing Jacobson Building, the home of many ISU team offices as well as the offices for the ISU athletic department administration. The structure will hold a Daktronics scoreboard and sound system.