Southeast intramural fields will undergo $10 million renovation


Mikinna Kerns/Iowa State Daily

The Iowa State intramural fields are leveled following the installation of new lights which happened earlier in the year. 

Adolfo Espitia

Editor’s note: One name was misspelled in this article, which appeared in print Oct. 2, 2018. The online version has been updated with the correct spelling. 

A $10 million plan to renew the southeast intramural fields, east of the Maple, Willow and Larch Residence Halls, will begin construction following its approval in early September.

Plans for renovation began in the 2011-12 school year with the installment of lights for use at night. The construction was approved at the Board of Regents meeting on Sept. 13 and will begin in spring 2019.

With growing enrollment and classes ending later in the day, schedule conflicts and demands for a space for intramural teams has increased said Garry Greenlee, associate director of facilities. Students with conflicting schedules will be able to enjoy the flexibility of a renovated field, Greenlee said.

In fall 2017, recreation services began plans to irrigate, light and reconfigure the fields. With a reserve of $10 million, obtained over the years from student activity fees, new turf will bring a “great experience” for sport clubs and intramurals, Greenlee said.

“It gives us five more hours of programming, it expands our offerings and avoids conflicts with students,” Greenlee said. “Right now, we are pretty maxed out in outdoor space because we don’t have lights and that flexibility.”

With increasingly competitive sport clubs, Landon Wolfe, coordinator of the sport club council, agreed that lighting has been an issue for competing teams.

“Once we hit the middle of October, the sun goes down earlier, and students can’t get out there early enough,” Wolfe said. “They’re having to stop based on the sun and having facilities with lighting would be a huge benefit.”

Aside from lights, renovation plans include a brick storage building, a pavilion, additional parking and a retention pond for irrigation. The renovation will be paid for by recreation services’ reserves, without any increase to student activity fees.

“This is all coming out of our reserves, it won’t affect any other program,” Greenlee said. “We’ve been saving since 2009 or 2010 and with the increase in enrollment and money from student activity fees, it gave us a little more money to do it right.”

Part of this transition includes crowding teams in the MWL field and Lied complex for the next two years. However, for two sport club council members, the renovation could be a great opportunity for sport club recognition and growth.

Rose Echard, junior in apparel design and president of the sports club council, turned down participating in the lacrosse club partly due to late practice in a dimly lit area. Over time, Echard learned limited availability caused some sport clubs to practice far away. With a renovated field, Echard believes it will be a major benefit.

“This will benefit a lot of our teams, because we do have to share our fields with intramurals and other clubs,” Echard said. “I’m excited to see our sport clubs grow and become more recognized on campus.”

Vice President of the sport club council and senior in elementary education, Benjamin Bye, said a big issue for clubs was requesting more practice time. He believes the renovation will reduce the struggle in finding practice areas for clubs and intramurals.

“I’m excited to see Iowa State expanding their fields and being able to expand rec sports and help out the sport clubs,” Bye said. “That’s a huge benefit for everyone.”