SU to Build Sports Complex
President Trombley recently highlighted the stadium project in an email announcement. The email stated that: “Athletic Director Ken Ralph is working with facilities in the planning phase for the new multi-use sports complex[…] Construction will begin this summer.” When walking with President Trombley on one of her morning walks through the school’s massive acreage, I brought up the topic of the new football stadium. As her dog sniffed the nearby grass for the scent of the abundance of deers we now have, she pointed to the practice field and described how it would be turned into a multi-use sports complex in the next two to three years. Many steps will need to be taken to convert this into a stadium. This includes adding a concession stand, bleachers that face away from the evening sun, and building a locker room for visiting football teams. The stadium will also be equipped with a sound-system that will make the space work for a variety of campus events, such as graduation. With the addition of this stadium, Southwestern football games will be more widely attended by students. Currently, Southwestern home football games are held in the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex. The distance from campus prevents some students, such as those without vehicles, from attending. The school hopes the new stadium will increase student engagement with football events, such as homecoming tailgating. This football stadium will help to build community at Southwestern through improving event accessibility for students.
Zoe Hein thinks that the stadium would be a good way to boost school spirit. However, she emphasized that the school should continue to direct funding toward academics and fixing the fine arts building. She noted that some schools over-emphasize athletics to the detriment of their fine arts programs. Rachel Engelbert agrees that the stadium is needed to improve school spirit. She added that the convenience of a stadium on campus would hopefully improve the social environment at Southwestern. Sarah Schieler also agrees. In particular, she thinks that the improvement in school spirit would make homecoming a more worth-while experience for all. She believes that a lot of Southwestern students don’t go to the football games currently because they are held at the highschool complex.
Jiya Thakkar was happy to learn about the development. She expressed that it would enhance the sports environment at Southwestern. Since she doesn’t have access to a car, it will be more convenient for her to attend football games here on campus.
Students are optimistic about the future in regards to social activities and school spirit here at Southwestern University. From further convenience by having things centrally located around campus, to better immersing students into the homecoming events such as tailgating— optimism is high. The athletic complex is a part of a larger “building boom” happening at SU. Students can expect renovations to Mood-Bridwell Hall and the Commons, the Servery, The Cove, the outdoor patio, and Bishop’s Lounge. A lot of change is planned for the next few years, and students can stay informed through reading The Megaphone.