Funding for Northwestern's new lakeside athletics facility — worth over $220 million — is nearly complete, but the university has yet to break ground on construction. Part of that was due to permit issues with the City of Evanston and the US Army Corps of Engineers, among other organizations.
According to a release from the university, it will now be applying for a permit:
Northwestern University is continuing the development of its new Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex on Northwestern's Evanston campus. The University plans to file a permit request with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other agencies in regard to construction of the building.
The release also states that renovation of Lakeside Field and the construction of the outdoor practice football field will begin this spring and finish in the spring of 2016. From that point on, all Northwestern football activities excluding games will be held on campus, rather than at the athletic complex.
The entire project will include:
- Ryan Fieldhouse, which will house a full-sized indoor athletic field that will enable Northwestern's student-athletes to practice and compete indoors during inclement weather. The fieldhouse will also be used for campus events, such as Dance Marathon.
- Portable seating for approximately 1,000 people with room for additional seats so the facility can be used as a site for University convocations and other events.
- Three basketball courts that will be used for intramural sports and recreational activities.
- An indoor running track.
- Locker rooms for varsity sports teams.
- Sports performance areas with weights and exercise equipment.
- Sports medicine facilities.
- Renovation of the existing soccer/lacrosse and field hockey fields and construction of a new outdoor football practice field that would be used for varsity team practices, intramurals and other purposes.
While there is still a lot of work to go, this is a key step for NU, as the football coaches have been pitching the new practice facility to recruits.