The first phase of an intramural sports complex located on 20 acres at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette could be completed in May and open to students in the fall.
The 2,500-square-foot intramural and club sports building will serve as a check-in point for students. It also will have lockers, a classroom, an office, restrooms and equipment storage.
The building will cost $500,000 to $750,000, said Dave Suter, director of recreational sports.
Construction is being funded by self-assessed student fees, UL-Lafayette said in news release.
Intramural sports are those in which students from the same school compete against one another. That differs from the school’s club sports such as lacrosse and water skiing, where teams compete against other schools.
“Our teams and clubs are all over the place,” Suter said. “We can’t fit all of them on our existing fields, and, since most recreational sports activity happens after 5 p.m., lights will be key.”
The number of students who play intramural sports at UL-Lafayette is growing. In the 2013-14 school year, there were 2,363 students on 263 teams. In the 2013-2014 school year, more than 2,800 students competed on 310 teams.
More students competing, however, showed the need for more space to compete. Teams were practicing on a variety of sites in Lafayette, including two heavily used fields near Bourgeois Park.
And some sports teams require more space, such as soccer and rugby, the university said.
Once the first building in the complex is completed in the summer, the next phase will be to install lighting, said Bill Crist, UL-Lafayette’s director of facility management.
“We’re trying to do low-impact lighting that will minimize light pollution,” Crist said. “And once the project goes out to bid, the hope would be to get lighting installed within the next six months or so.”
The complex will be located along Coliseum Road and will include fields for the university’s intramural and club sports games and practices. The complex is a part of the university’s master plan, a guide for future growth over the next 15 to 20 years.