Indiana Board of Trustees approves baseball/softball complex

Indiana’s Board of Trustees approved the construction of a new baseball/softball complex at its meeting Thursday in Indianapolis, Herald Times reporter Mike Leonard reports.

Based on Leonard’s tweets, there appeared to be some concern about the project, but it got through. As of late May, the project was expected to cost $10 to $13 million and to be built on the current site of Sembower Field. However, the project that was approved will cost $19.8 million and be built on the site near the 45/46 bypass that was approved in 2006 along with the Memorial Stadium North End Zone renovation and Cook Hall.

We hope to have more later.

UPDATE: The University release follows.

IU TRUSTEES APPROVE CONSTUCTION OF BASEBALL/SOFTBALL COMPLEX

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– The Indiana University Board of Trustees today (August 18) approved construction of a new baseball and softball complex — to be located just north of the Mellencamp Pavilion and the Indiana Tennis Center along North Woodlawn Avenue and the 45/46 Bypass on the IU Bloomington campus.  The approval of the new facility fulfills a promise made to both programs that new stadiums would be constructed.

The new $19.8 million facility will replace Sembower Field and the IU Softball Field which are both located on Fee Lane across the street from the Paul V. McNutt Quadrangle. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2012 with the goal that the stadiums will be completed in time for the 2013 baseball and softball seasons.  Private donations and athletic department funds will fund the project.

“I cannot express how thankful we are to both President McRobbie and the Board of Trustees for approving this very important project.  The new baseball/softball facility will allow both teams to compete at the highest level, further demonstrating IU Athletics’ commitment to enhancing the experience of our student-athletes, and ultimately delivering on a promise made to both programs several years ago”, said Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Fred Glass.  “As a fan, I can’t wait to experience the excitement of IU baseball and softball in these new state-of-the-art venues”.

The North Woodlawn and 45/46 Bypass location was cited as the preferred location for the venues in the university’s master plan to consolidate IU Bloomington’s major athletic facilities into one neighborhood and support the new North Woodlawn Avenue and Alumni Walk corridor.

“Given all the effort by those well before me and those I’ve had the good fortune to work with side-by-side the past few years, I am beyond grateful to be a part of the group that gets to usher in a ‘new era’ of Indiana Baseball”, said head baseball coach Tracy Smith.  “This stadium not only represents the future of our program, but it also represents the dedication of those that worked so hard for so many years to make this stadium a reality.  I can’t thank Fred Glass, President McRobbie, and the IU Board of Trustees enough for their commitment to our program.  It’s a great day to be a Hoosier!”

Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects of Indianapolis, will design the complex.

“I am extremely excited for the future of the baseball and softball programs with this announcement”, said head softball coach Michelle Gardner. “The commitment shown by Director of Athletics Fred Glass, President McRobbie and Indiana University has been amazing. There’s no doubt in my mind that this facility will further enhance our program moving forward.”

Sembower Field, located on North Fee Lane, started Indiana Athletics’ move to the northern campus location from Central Campus in the 1950s.  Sembower Field was constructed in 1951 and was named after IU English professor and former IU shortstop, the late Charles J. Sembower.  The IU Softball Field has been the home venue for IU softball since becoming a varsity sport in the early 1970’s.

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