Northwestern is ready to join the big boys when it comes to athletic facilities. The Big Ten school on Saturday morning announced plans to build a major complex for athletic and recreational activities, along with a new parking structure, on the north end of the school's Evanston, Ill., campus.
The school estimates that the project will cost $220 million.
“This will provide state-of-the-art, transformational practice, training and competition facilities for our varsity sports,” said athletic director Jim Phillips. “The improvements will provide better integration of our student-athletes with other students on our main campus, reducing the divide that manifests when there are separate facilities for student-athletes, as occurs at many other institutions.
“We are extremely appreciative of the support for athletics and recreation displayed by President [Morton] Schapiro, the Board of Trustees and the board's Educational Properties Committee,” added Phillips. “The vision shown by university leadership has paved the way for this opportunity, one sure to provide exceptional benefits for our student-athletes and coaches, and the entire Northwestern community.”
While the new facilities will be for more than just Northwestern's football team, it will be a boon to football recruiting. Compared to other Big Ten schools, Northwestern's athletic facilities haven't measured up. That should change with this latest announcement.
The school hasn't made any major upgrades to its football facilities since spending $30 million on them in 1997.
Photo courtesy of Northwestern