Well done Daily Northwestern. The LTP community has been clamoring for an update on the much anticipated athletics facilities overhaul plan and Colin Becht and Justin Schecker have provided just that with this feature story yesterday. Take the time and get up to speed on a piece that features an interview with Bill Osborn, the chairman of the Board of Trustees.
The short version take-away from the article is that it is a matter of when and where the facilities upgrades will happen moreso than an “if”. Bill Osborn cited other projects like the $117million state-of-the-art Henry Bienen School of Music and the NU Welcome center – both to be built on south campus near the lake as projects that had multiple locations discussed before settling on the final spot. President Schapiro was also interviewed and shared his philosophy on wanting athletic facilities upgrades that benefit the entire student body as SPAC, Patten Gym are being considered for upgrades as well as a potential gym on Clark Street.
Ifeadi Odenigbo shared what he was told by the football staff that they were committed to upgrading the facilities and that a lakeside practice facility would be completed by 2013. While NU is indeed committed to the upgrades, president Schapiro offered the most concrete timeline to date saying that the “earliest” it would be completed would be 2014.
I learned a few things from this feature including some of the complicated “puzzle pieces” that go in to this. Morty used one example of a site where NU would have challenges building since Evanston owns the water passage rights under the building. Osborn freely admitted that NU was land-locked.
Simply put, we’re all frustrated that things aren’t moving faster and I’m confident Jim Phillips, Fitz and everyone associated with NU Athletics share our collective sense of urgency. However, as Bill Osborn alluded to, NU needs to get this right. This is the most ambitious athletics facilities upgrade by quite a big multiple.
I also wanted to underscore Bill Osborn’s point that once this gets approved, THEN the fundraising begins. We’re talking about several hundred million dollars to accomplish the plan and you, me and everyone we know who has an affinity for NU Athletics will be called on so get ready.
Another year and another exit for women’s tennis in the round of 16 to Stanford. The Cardinal downed NU 4-1 ending the Wildcats season. Another great year for the team and nothing to be ashamed of.