Construction is underway on a future Brenau University athletic complex.
Brenau athletes, coaches and representatives were present Tuesday for a groundbreaking event at the site of the future Ernest Ledford Grindle Athletics Park on Jesse Jewell Parkway.
David Barnett, senior vice president for administration and chief financial officer, said the park will provide facilities that Brenau does not currently have.
“This goes back to something that really began probably in earnest in 2013,” Barnett said. “We were able to acquire this piece of property, which is 16 and a half acres. Our ultimate goal is to have a softball complex, a soccer field, a track and field complex and community walking paths around the property.”
Currently, Brenau rents space for softball, track and field and soccer. Barnett said they hope the new facility will be an asset to these athletes and the entire community.
“These walking paths will be accessible to folks in the community as well as the athletes,” he said.
Construction at the site began last Thursday, and Brenau Athletic Director Mike Lochstampfor said the first phase will include parking and the softball complex.
“There’s a proposed date of sometime in July,” Lochstampfor said. “So obviously when the students and athletes come back from summer break they’ll be stepping onto the new field, specifically for softball.”
Barnett said the softball complex will take up about 25 percent of the land. It will include a softball field, parking lot, field house, dug outs, stands, a press box, etc.
“All of that will be adjacent to the highway, or Jesse Jewell Parkway right here,” Barnett said. “Once that’s all completed and operational for about two years, we’ll break ground on the soccer field in the lower area, and the track will be around that. So track and field events and soccer will have a shared space, like most schools do.”
While Brenau softball should be played at the new park
beginning this fall, Barnett said they hope to be playing soccer by 2017.
The park is located on Jesse Jewell Parkway, adjacent to the Milliken Plant.
While Brenau does have some athletic facilities on campus, the new park will be a major asset to athletes in these three sports.
“We have a gymnasium on campus and a natatorium on campus, and an indoor and outdoor tennis facility,” Barnett said. “But we rent space for soccer and softball, so that’s why we’re building this.”