A central point on campus has become the major focus of controversy in the past few weeks. The Intramural Field, located just northeast of the Student Union Building and south of the Appleton Tennis Center, is changing hands on management for the next six months. Traditionally controlled by Boise State University Recreation Services, Boise State Athletics will now be in control starting March 25 as construction to improve the field will begin and continue through to July 31.
In spring of 2012, the athletic program approached the University and Recreation Services for a request that the football team be allowed to use the grass field for its early fall camp in August. A $50,000 sum was then put into improving the field over the summer for the August practices.
“Our department worked closely with Athletics and Facilities Operation and Maintenance to craft an agreement that would allow the football team use of the recreation field for three weeks in August,” said Boise State Recreation Center Director Lisa Stuppy.
Following the construction of Dona Larsen Park, located just east of Broadway and north of campus, and the new Gene Bleymaier Football Complex, both grass areas formerly used by the football team were eliminated, leaving the intramural field as the next logical solution.
Construction and maintenance went into the field over the summer of 2012 to prepare it for the football team’s use in August.
But with a need for high quality, terms were once again discussed and the current plan for construction was
“As you can see on the field right now, the results weren’t there for Coach Pete, the football team and even for us,” said Jared Cox, Boise State Recreational Center sports coordinator. “They put in all that money but it really hasn’t been all that much better, so that’s where they are saying it’s time to dig it all up, put the
The current state of the intramural field has been a hot topic over the past several years as it has contributed to unplayable conditions in poor weather, and even student injuries from unstable footing.
“For a long time we’ve known that we need to redo the field, dig it up and plain it so it drains in a good way,” said ASBSU President Ryan Gregg.
Vice President of Student Affairs Lisa Harris worked closely with Recreation Services, Athletics, and Boise State Athletic Director Mark Coyle to construct a plan that was the most efficient for time constraints and would provide high quality results.
“Our vice president, Dr. Harris, was in talks with the athletic director, Mark Coyle,” Stuppy said.“So they had several conversations on the importance of scheduling events for us, knowing we were going to be displaced for spring intramural contests and spring clubs.”
Moving forward, one of the biggest challenges facing recreation services is the accommodation of the variety of events that have historically taken place on the intramural field, such as spring intramural sports and clubs and the annual Spring Fling event. Clubs and organizations will have the opportunity to use the Caven Williams Sports Complex, but will have to work with recreation services and Harris from student affairs for approval from athletics, as past requests have been denied.
The newest addition to the Boise State campus through this endeavor will be a brand new, full-size, artificial turf field. The new field will serve as a temporary home for intramural clubs and organizations to hold their events and activities as the football team holds its early fall practices. Once the football team is finished with its use of the current, grass intramural field, it will be returned to students and recreation services.
“The turf field is not a replacement for the grass field,” Stuppy said. “We have plenty of participation to keep four or six fields busy, but we’ll go with two.”
The new turf field will also be lined to accommodate four different sports: flag football, soccer, and men’s and women’s lacrosse. The turf field will cost $1 million for the initial phase of construction and work.
“The first phase will be the turf field, a fence, basically just the groundwork,” Cox said.
The football team’s usage of the current field will stretch into the first or second week of September of the fall 2013 semester.
“After that date (mid-September) for the most part, we will have the ability to schedule club sports and intramurals,” Cox said. “And at that same time, hopefully our turf field will be done so all the activities we weren’t able to do on the rec field; we’ll be able to go to the turf field.”
At a forum held during an ASBSU meeting on March 5, students were able to express their concerns to Dr. Harris, Lisa Stuppy and Interim Associate Vice President of Student Planning and Facilities, Jared Everett.
One of the many concerns raised by students was why had a public announcement not been made to students and faculty about the plans for the field, prior to the deliberation being completed.
Another question raised by students was where the funding for the new turf field is coming from. All funding for the turf field is from recreation services as each year they receive a portion of student fees, but other sales also contribute towards project funding.
“The chunk of money that recreation and our areas have funded comes from our reserve balance,” Stuppy said. “So over the years our overall budget is a portion of student fees, membership sales, retail items, building rentals.”
Talks went on between Dr. Harris, President Bob Kustra and Coyle. According to Boise State Marketing and Outreach Coordinator with Campus Planning and Facilities, Suzanne Seigneur, the reasoning for not making a formal announcement was the continued work on construction planning and was only recently finalized.
Questions and concerns are still being speculated about by students, but they will have an opportunity to clear up the confusion.
‘’On April 4 we are going to have an open house to talk about construction and the progress of these field,” Everett said.
The open house will take place from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in the Bergquist Ballroom in the SUB. Students will be able to have additional questions answered, as well as view construction plans and maps for the work sites.