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Upgrades to Athletic Facilities Progress as Academic Year Approaches

August 15, 2013

"It's rare to see such a comprehensive athletic facilities upgrade at the Division III level," says Stevie Baker-Watson, Theodore A. Katula Director of Athletics and Recreational Sports at DePauw, in a piece outlining progress on Phase I of the University's Athletics and Recreational Facilities Master Plan.  The project "includes three state-of-the-art fields from AstroTurf®, the originator of the synthetic turf industry," the text adds. "Installation of a new artificial surface at Blackstock Stadium was recently completed, and two more synthetic turf fields from AstroTurf are slated for the fall. It's all part of a multimillion dollar renovation project geared at improving the quality of the athletic surfaces on which the school's teams will compete against their North Coast Athletic Conference rivals."

"Our initial focus is to provide our student-athletes with a consistently excellent experience on the fields of play and provide space for our growing intramural and recreation program," Baker-Watson adds. "

The article details how 87,000 square feet of AstroTurf's GameDay Grass™ 3D Xtreme synthetic turf was installed at Blackstock Stadium this summer. "Originally built in 1941, Blackstock Stadium underwent massive improvements in 1997 which helped to transform it into one of the best athletic complexes on the Division III tier. The addition of a premier AstroTurf playing surface will only enhance that reputation."

Bill Lynch returns as DePauw University's head football coach this fall. Lynch coached the Tigers to an 8-2 mark in 2004 before leaving for Indiana University, where he became head coach. He's also led the football programs at Ball State and Butler universities.

"What a great opportunity to come back and coach here at DePauw during a time of rejuvenation in the athletic program," Lynch says. "The new AstroTurf field at Blackstock looks great, and the feedback from our players has been wholly positive."

The new field will be named to honor Nick Mourouzis, the college's all-time leader in football coaching victories, on Old Gold, October 12.

"Renovations to existing facilities are just a part of the athletic campus improvements outlined by the plan. Construction of Reavis Stadium, a new multisport stadium, located just south of Blackstock Stadium, is already underway with scheduled installation of a 90,000 square foot artificial surface set for the fall. The championship-caliber venue will serve as the permanent home for DePauw University men's and women's soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as the field hockey team. Adjacent to the new stadium and directly east of it will be a nearly identical 90,000 square foot practice field. Both playing surfaces will be furnished with AstroTurf GameDay Grass 3D Xtreme synthetic turf systems, and will be used by all faculty, staff and students participating in their intramural and recreation program."

The piece continues, "The revitalization of the athletic and recreational infrastructure of DePauw University is just one part of an ambitious strategy known as the Campus Master Plan. Approved by the school's Board of Trustees in 2010, its goal is to guide the development of the campus and nurture the aspirations of its students into the future. The Recreational and Athletic Facility Master Plan was launched in 2012 after alumni gifts made this important extension to the Campus Master Plan possible. Award-winning architectural firm Hastings and Chivetta, based out of St. Louis, worked LGL2656with officials at DePauw to design and outline the improvements to the athletic fields. Indianapolis-based Wilhelm Construction is handling general contracting duties on the project, and previously served in the same capacity for the well-received renovations to IU's Memorial Stadium and Purdue's Mackey Arena."

Read more at PRNewswire.

You'll find more about the comprehensive Athletics and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, which also includes a renovation and expansion of the Lilly Center, in this previous summary. A webcam shows up-to-the-minute glimpses at the work being done at Blackstock Stadium.  It's available by clicking here.

DePauw will welcome the incoming Class of 2017 next Saturday, August 24.

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