Woodlawn Field under construction
By Nona Tepper
“If you’re running down the field you can trip, twist your ankle, twist your knees,” said Jackie Puterbaugh, associate director of campus recreational sports. “You want some evenness, you don’t want some places to have dirt and some places to have grass. That can just lead to more injuries.”
The project is an initiative of the 2010 Campus Master Plan, and a result of student surveys.
Students named construction on Woodlawn Field as an “area to focus on,” in the IU Campus Recreational Sports survey distributed every three years.
Construction began June 27.
Before then, the field had not undergone changes since its original installation. It was never meant as a “top-notch sports field,” Puterbaugh said, but repeated club sports usage led it to that path.
“I came to IU as a student in 1979, and I wouldn’t say they’ve been renovated since then,” she said.
IU Recreation Sports had been advocating for a number of years to repair the field. Weather erosion, lack of a proper irrigation system and uneven patches between dirt and grass were problems stressed.
Charles Rondot, director of marketing and communication for the IU School of Health, said construction was pursued now due to the low cost of labor.
Firms that create blueprints for construction projects similar to the Woodlawn Field renovation are charging cheaper rates than years past.
“It’s a minimal investment for maximum usage,” Rondot said.
The project will cost $500,000, and the University Repair and Renovation fund and Campus Recreation Sports are sharing expenditures.
Construction will benefit an estimated 100,000 students and intramural sports teams.
While renovations progess, the University plans to offer fields behind Sigma Nu and Sembower Field as extra practice space.
Being at a loss for open space is nothing new, however, Puterbaugh said.
“That’s not a lot of space for that many clubs,” Puterbaugh said. “If you have 10-12 clubs that want to practice two to three times per week we could probably use about three times that amount of space.”
Depending on how much heat the final days of summer bring, sod will be laid in late August or September.
Construction will then be completed in late October or March, after spring break.
“We’re very fortunate to have these fields, especially in the center of campus,” she said. “But it’s way past time for them to be renovated to the way that they should be.”