SAGINAW (WJRT) -
(04/29/14) - It's a massive 122,000 square foot expansion of SVSU's Ryder Center - one designed to create a 'wow factor' on campus.
"First reaction is this is even bigger than I thought. Then you get a chance to really see how this is going to take shape," said J.J. Boehm, SVSU Media, Community Relations Director.
Work on the new field house got underway last summer, but winter weather slowed down the process just a bit.
"There has been a bit of a delay because of that, but we're going to be complete in the end of June," said Ted High, project manager.
Once finished, the complex will house a 300 meter track, 80 yards of turf, suitable for football, soccer and lacrosse, along with office space, locker rooms and so much more.
"A training room, video board, dectronics, timing systems, bleachers, the whole works," said Matt Oberlin, SVSU assistant athletic director.
One of the features slated for this field house that's creating quite the buzz on campus will be up there on level two - and indoor golf training facility, complete with a putting green and hitting nets.
"It's going to be a great facility for our kids to use during the winter months when it's kind of hard to golf in the state of Michigan," Oberlin said.
Oberlin believes the new building will give SVSU an edge in recruiting.
"It puts us in an elite class for sure, especially at our level. It'll be something that will leave a lasting imprint on our community and our campus for sure," he said.
Speaking of community, the field house will also be available for high school teams and youth sports organizations.
"Space like this is at a premium, so we can definitely rent this space out and make some money off it for sure," Oberlin said.
Keep in mind - the field house is only the beginning of a very ambitious $20 million project.
"This is part one of two. The basketball arena gets completely renovated starting in about two weeks. All new locker rooms, office additions. It's going to be just a great, great summer to be around SVSU," Oberlin said.
For updates and pictures of the Ryder Center's renovations, click HERE.