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Northwestern breaks ground on new Lakefront facility

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The construction will bring a new building to Northwestern's campus and include upgrades to existing facilities.

Photo: @NUFBFamily on Twitter

Northwestern finally broke ground Saturday on its Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex, the much-anticipated lakeside facility that will house various NU athletic events and bring football non-gameday activities to campus. Construction of the building and major upgrades to the area as a whole will take place over the next few years.

The university held a ceremony Saturday to commemorate the groundbreaking.

The project includes two major parts. The first will be the construction of the Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex, a new building that will include all of the following, according to a release from the University last month.

  • Ryan Fieldhouse, a full-size indoor practice facility that can be used during inclement weather that will also hold Dance Marathon
  • Portable seating for 1,000 for convocation purposes
  • Three basketball courts, a running track and a weight room
  • Locker rooms for varsity teams
  • Sports medicine facilities
The building will be next to Henry Crown Sports Pavilion/Norris Aquatics Center and Combe Tennis Center (SPAC), which hosts events for the varsity tennis, fencing and swimming/diving teams.

The second part of the project includes major upgrades to the current Lakeside Athletic Fields, which hosts soccer, lacrosse and field hockey games as well as the occasional football spring practice. This portion of construction will take place from June 2015 to December 2016. Improvements will include:
  • New synthetic turf for both the soccer/lacrosse and field hockey field
  • Improved lighting of the field and surrounding lakefront walking path
  • New locker rooms and auxiliary visiting locker rooms
  • Lounges
This continues recent development of the lakefront area, after SPAC was renovated last year.