Northwestern University Prepares to Break Ground on Next Phase of Athletics Complex

A rendering of strength and conditioning space planned for Northwestern University39s Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex Image from Northwestern University
<p>A rendering of strength and conditioning space planned for Northwestern University&#39;s Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex. (<em>Image from Northwestern </em><em>University.)</em></p>

Northwestern University has announced plans to break ground next week on the next phase of its Lakefront Athletics and Recreation Complex on the Evanston, Illinois, campus.

Construction will commence on the Ryan Fieldhouse immediately after the Nov. 13 groundbreaking, according to a news release from the university. The Fieldhouse will have a large, indoor multipurpose facility for football practice, Olympic sports team practices and competitions, recreational activities and non-sporting events.

Work also will begin on the Walter Athletics Center, a facility that will house academic support services for more than 500 student-athletes, a nutrition center and dining facility, a sports performance center, and office space for coaches and administrators.

"This is a landmark day for our entire campus community," said Jim Phillips, vice president for athletics and recreation. "Ryan Fieldhouse and the Walter Athletics Center will provide the finest support, training and developmental facilities for Northwestern student-athletes in an incomparable location."

The fieldhouse and the athletics center will be adjacent to the existing Henry Crown Sports Pavilion/Norris Aquatics Center and Combe Tennis Center.

Amenities in the fieldhouse are a full-sized indoor athletic field, strength and conditioning space, seating to accommodate events such as university convocations and other community functions, sports medicine facilities and locker rooms.

The athletics center will house coaches' offices, meeting rooms and locker rooms for the Northwestern football team; a football strength and conditioning center; offices for coaches of sports teams; a nutrition center and dining facility; and academic and professional development support offices.

As part of the project, the Norris Aquatics Center will be expanded with a new dryland training area, locker rooms, coaches' offices and multipurpose meeting space.

Other improvements include replacing three recreational basketball courts and an indoor running track in the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion.

The project also will expand a campus walking/biking path along Lake Michigan and link it to a city of Evanston bike path.

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