Matt Jones is the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Northwest Arkansas Newspapers.
Arkansas hopes to have baseball facility by 2014
An artist's rendering shows a proposed dual-sport facility for baseball and track & field.
FAYETTEVILLE Arkansas hopes to begin the construction of a new dual-sport facility for baseball and track & field this year, associate athletics director Matt Trantham said Monday.
Trantham said the facility, which has an estimated price tag of $9.625 million, could be completed prior to the 2014 baseball season, but the speed of construction will be based on fundraising. An architect and contractor for the project have already been selected.
The proposed 45,000-square-foot facility will be built between Baum Stadium and the Randal Tyson Track Center. It will provide space for the baseball team to train in inclement weather and will also be used for indoor throwing events for track & field, and a weight room for both sports.
Arkansas will host the SEC and NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships later this year with throwing events held at the Pat Walker Pavilion south of Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
The building project is part of the university's master plan for athletes, which was unveiled in October 2011 at an estimated price tag of $320 million over 30 years.
Arkansas has already constructed new outdoor practice football fields as part of the plan. The $40.35 million project will include a new operations center for football that is expected to be opened later this year.
The UA Board of Trustees approved $36.5 million in bonds last week for the construction of three separate athletics facilities, including the baseball/track center. A basketball practice facility and student-athlete dining center have also been approved.
An estimated combined price tag for the three facilities is between $45.75 million and $57.625 million. The constructions will be paid for with bonds to be paid back by private donation to The Razorback Foundation, Inc.