The rubber track and grass field were laid in the new track and soccer complex on the North side of campus last week.
The project is beginning to look the part as the two athletic surfaces nearing completion. The track is still without lanes, and the field has yet to fully take root, but the once pile of dirt is now a clean field of green grass and purple track.
“We were so excited to show up to workouts and see the new field,” said Allie Gerner, a sophomore soccer player from San Antonio. “We can’t wait to play in front of all the fans that the new stadium is going to bring.”
There is still has plenty of work to be done, though.
Plans for the final product have changed as construction has progressed. For instance, all throwing events will take place on the North side of Ambler Avenue.
“If we kept the throws inside the stadium, it adds an element of danger,” said Jerrod Cook, the throws and multi-events coach. “This new facility will be safer and more convenient. Obviously, people would rather compete in front of the fans in the stadium, but with throwing, that’s not a major concern.”
Another alteration to the plans occurred when the long jump and pole vault runways were installed.
The runway did not leave enough space between the two events and needed to be longer to accommodate all athletes. The result was another safety issue, Cook said.
“We think we solved the issue with a portable runway we can set up for meets,” Cook said. “Pole vaulters love that because a portable runway gives you a little more spring in your step and can accommodate wind conditions.”
While the competition areas are coming together, the surrounding elements of the stadium have yet to take shape. The stands as well as the track and soccer offices still need to be built.
“The stands should be completed around March,” Cook said. “With the offices and locker rooms, it could be anywhere from February to May.”
The plan is for the complex to be completed in time for ACU to host the Wes Kittley Invitational on April 11. The stadium has not yet been named.