Wayne State College Athletics Announces $26.5 Million Athletic/Recreation Facility Addition, Renovation Project

Wayne State College Athletics Announces $26.5 Million Athletic/Recreation Facility Addition, Renovation Project
WSC Aerial - Roof. Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics.

WAYNE – A three-phase project will begin in the spring of 2023 on the campus of Wayne State College with a tentative completion date set of fall 2025.

According to a release from Wayne State Athletics, plans for a $26.5 million athletic and recreation facility renovation project were announced on Tuesday. This project includes the addition of an air-supported indoor structure and major renovations to the Recreation Center, Rice Auditorium and the Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex.

Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics. Dome.

The new indoor facility will be first on the list as construction on the project will start next Spring.

Over the last three years, WSC has seen 20% growth in enrollment, 200% growth in club sports, 25% growth in intramural participation and the addition of two varsity athletic programs. Because of this growth, facilities need to be developed to service all needs.

WSC President Dr. Marysz Rames said, “the athletics, recreation and student wellness initiative exemplifies Wayne State’s balanced approach to meeting the needs of students who have a passion for success on and off the field of play. This project will provide our students with opportunities to continue their lifelong commitment to athletics and recreation in outstanding facilities that mirror their drive and commitment to excellence.”

Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics. Calendar 2022.

The feature item of the project is a new air-supported indoor structure connected to the Recreation Center. The structure will create a full scale indoor, multi-functional practice, competition and recreation facility with artificial turf and house an indoor 300-meter synthetic track surface. The facility will also create enhanced indoor throws and jump areas and new men’s and women’s track and field locker rooms as well as office space.

In addition to providing practice and competition space for varsity programs, club sports and intramural activities, this new facility will also provide opportunities for regional service through competitions, youth camps and sports leagues.

The Recreation Center and Alley Expansion will be a central point and control for the new indoor facility, featuring a larger student weight room and an auxiliary weight room specifically for intercollegiate athletics, club sports and academics.  The new-look Recreation Center will showcase increased square footage for student fitness including additional basketball/volleyball/recreational court space, cardiovascular equipment, multi-use fitness spaces and overall improvement of pedestrian flow between facilities that includes patron access to Rice Auditorium.

Renovations to Rice Auditorium include increasing the size of the lobby to support ticketing and concessions for intercollegiate athletic programs and the creation of a practice court in the current Kirk Gardner Indoor Athletic Complex for women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball, club sports and intramural activities.

The expansions and renovations are intended to raise the recruiting and competitive profile of WSC’s NCAA Division II athletic programs while also impacting retention and enhancing the current student-athlete experience.

Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics. Rice Club room.

Wayne State Director of Athletics Mike Powicki added, “this transformational, facility construction and renovation project will be incredibly impactful on Wayne State College’s intercollegiate athletics, recreation and student-wide wellness programs. These are historic improvements which will be critical in our ability to continue to recruit and retain phenomenal students by providing an exceptional overall student engagement experience.”

Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics. Rice Club room – interior.

Powicki continued, “if we include the projects of converting of our outdoor soccer pitch to artificial turf and the creation of a fan club room in Rice Auditorium that are currently underway, we will be approaching $30 million in remarkable facility improvements at Wayne State College over the next few years“.

Courtesy of Wayne State Athletics. WSC-Soccer-Conversion.

The Wayne State Foundation continues to actively fundraise to supplement the college funds that will pay for all of the projects.