LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 4, 2013) — Transylvania University broke ground Saturday for a new athletics complex at 555 W. Fourth St. that will become home to women’s and men’s soccer, lacrosse, and track and field teams as well as the field hockey team.
The facility is expected to be ready for use in early fall of the 2013-14 academic year.
Centerpiece of the complex will be a state-of-the-art lighted turf field for soccer, lacrosse, and field hockey, surrounded by an NCAA-regulation eight-lane track with an all-weather surface. Space for field events will be adjacent. An 800-seat grandstand, press box, and concession area will complete the playing facilities. A new office and locker room building will house coaches’ offices and a training room, and on-site parking will be available.
“This project represents a bold approach to Transylvania’s future,” said Board of Trustees member Brian Wood, a 1994 graduate of the university. “By expanding beyond our traditional campus boundaries and integrating the Transylvania culture into a new neighborhood, we are setting a course that says we are a dynamic and innovative college.”
Colmon Elridge, executive assistant to Gov. Steve Beshear and a 2003 graduate of Transylvania, spoke on behalf of the governor’s office.
“Transylvania University is enshrined in the fabric of who we are as Kentuckians,” he said. “And, this historic university is not resting on its laurels. Transylvania University is on the move.”
President R. Owen Williams said the facility is the among the first and most visible fruits of Transylvania 2020, the university’s recently approved strategic plan designed to propel Transylvania even higher into the upper echelon of national liberal arts colleges.
“Transylvania’s campus will expand to reflect the quality of our academic and student life programs,” he said. “This athletics complex is only the beginning of the many initiatives we have in our strategic plan.”
The athletics complex is expected to cost $8 million, and the university is seeking funds to pay for the facility.
“Multiple naming opportunities are available,” said Kirk Purdom, vice president for advancement.
Athletics director Jack Ebel, a 1977 Transylvania graduate, said the years of planning and hoping for this new facility make the reality even sweeter.
“I can’t tell you how much excitement and anticipation there is among our student-athletes and coaches about this new era for Transylvania athletics and recreation,” he said. “It’s truly a new frontier for the university, and a new location and outlook for everyone involved. But then, we are the Pioneers, so this is what we do.”
Abby Felthaus, a junior and member of the women’s soccer team, is president of the Student Athlete Advisory Council. She looks forward to the consolidation of many teams in one location.
“Having a central place for all of these women’s and men’s teams to practice, train, and enjoy the camaraderie of one another is going to be truly stimulating,” she said.
The project is designed by Carman Landscape Architects with Graves and Graves serving as construction managers. Also participating in the project are KTA Electrical Engineers and Alt 32 Architects.