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Wayne State to undertake $26.5 million athletic, rec facilities project – Omaha World-Herald

Perhaps as soon as fall 2025, Wayne State College’s athletics and recreation offerings will be transformed with a new air-supported dome and upgraded facilities.

In a press release issued last week, officials announced plans to spend $26.5 million to build the new structure as well as renovate the college’s Recreation Center, Rice Auditorium and Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex. The college will also enclose an alleyway that links the rec center to the auditorium and add a student weight room and fitness area within it. The entire project is expected to begin in spring 2023.

The dome, which has not yet been named, will be the highlight of the project. The facility will contain a 300-meter indoor track and more space for track and field athletes to practice their jumps and throws. Athletic director Mike Powicki told The World-Herald that the track will surround an artificial turf field that can be used for multiple purposes.

The new dome will essentially give track and field a dedicated space. Currently, Powicki said, track and field athletes have to use rec center facilities that the rest of the student population uses.

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In a related move, a 160-meter track within the rec center, which was built in 1987, will be converted into a walking-jogging track. Another basketball/volleyball court will be added, and racquetball courts will be converted into multifunctional fitness rooms.

Over in the adjacent Rice Auditorium, where basketball games and volleyball matches are played, renovations will include expanding the ticket and concessions area along with improvements to the restrooms.

The auditorium has seen its share of renovations in recent years. According to the college’s website, recent upgrades included new baskets and a rebranded playing surface in 2019, as well as a new scoreboard, video board and PA system in 2018.

Powicki said the renovations to the auditorium, which was originally built in 1958, will also include updates to address fire egress issues and comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, complete with making the auditorium’s upper level handicapped-accessible.

The Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex, built in 1964, will also see further renovations after a pool was filled in and replaced with turf and batting cages in 2020. With the turf and batting cages moving into the dome, the athletic complex will have an auxiliary gym featuring a wooden floor.

The college’s announcement comes as it has experienced growth over the last three years. Officials said Wayne State has experienced 20% growth in enrollment, 200% in club sports and 25% in intramural participation. The college has also added two varsity athletic programs.

Powicki said funding is expected to come from a variety of sources, including fundraising by the Wayne State Foundation and renewed facility bonds as facilitated by the Nebraska State College System.

Powicki emphasized that the college has not increased student fees as a result of the announced projects.

Once the project is completed, officials expect the renovations and additions will raise Wayne State’s recruiting and competitive profile in NCAA Division II athletics.

“This project will provide our students with opportunities to continue their lifelong commitment to athletics and recreation in outstanding facilities that mirror their drive and commitment to excellence,” President Marysz Rames said in the press release.

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Source: https://omaha.com/news/state-and-regional/wayne-state-to-undertake-26-5-million-athletic-rec-facilities-project/article_6f35c2ca-f1a2-11ec-981e-c72689e0a135.html

Perhaps as soon as fall 2025, Wayne State College’s athletics and recreation offerings will be transformed with a new air-supported dome and upgraded facilities.

In a press release issued last week, officials announced plans to spend $26.5 million to build the new structure as well as renovate the college’s Recreation Center, Rice Auditorium and Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex. The college will also enclose an alleyway that links the rec center to the auditorium and add a student weight room and fitness area within it. The entire project is expected to begin in spring 2023.

The dome, which has not yet been named, will be the highlight of the project. …….

Perhaps as soon as fall 2025, Wayne State College’s athletics and recreation offerings will be transformed with a new air-supported dome and upgraded facilities.

In a press release issued last week, officials announced plans to spend $26.5 million to build the new structure as well as renovate the college’s Recreation Center, Rice Auditorium and Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex. The college will also enclose an alleyway that links the rec center to the auditorium and add a student weight room and fitness area within it. The entire project is expected to begin in spring 2023.

The dome, which has not yet been named, will be the highlight of the project. …….

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