Construction of the intramural fields at NKU has come a long way from a simple student request to the project becoming a reality with the start of renovations.
The project with the intramural fields has been going on for a little over a year now. According to Matt Hackett, director of campus recreation, the project is part of an initiative that NKU came up with two years ago about improving campus recreation facilities. Hackett’s role in the project has been dealing with the planning and development.
The people who are constructing the project give Hackett “updates about how the fields are being brought to life,” he said. “We are more of a conduit for what the students want and making sure that they show up in the plans.”
While the beginning stages of the campus recreation renovation were going on, they experienced a bit of problem.
“The project was put on hold because the state of Kentucky didn’t authorize agency bonding,” said Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management. “We did have enough money collected in student fees to proceed with the rec fields and get that portion of the project done.”
“The outdoor piece is what we were able to tackle first and get started on,” Hackett said.
There is also an issue with the construction that directly affects a lot of the students living on campus. Junior social work major Shamell Smith thinks that the people working on the construction project should “increase parking and allow students to park in the ceramics lot.”
At one point during the project, “the contractor got overly ambitious and blocked parking for something he wanted to do,” said Blake.
Facilities Management and the Campus Recreation departments have a small concern as well. “It’s an outdoor construction project so if [we] had any concern, it would be the weather,” said Hackett.
“We’ve had a two or three week delay because the warm weather was actually a bad thing for us,” said Blake. “We had a normal winter where it was cold. Snow isn’t as bad as rain.”
The rain caused the project to be delayed for a week because the construction site was muddy and messy.
During the construction process, they have had to deal with bad soil in the fields but other than that the project has been going smoothly.
Facilities management wants students to be able to experience the benefits of the fees that they have to pay.
“All the fees will go into building the building, or renovating the existing rec center and enlarging it; building those rec fields,” said Blake. “It’s totally dedicated to campus recreation.”
Hackett believes that the intramural field construction is going to benefit the university and have a positive impact on the intramural program at NKU.
“In order to have quality programs for students, you need the resources, you need the facilities to provide that,” said Hackett. “There’s certainly a need for students here to get involved in our recreation.”
The intramural fields are expected to be constructed by late May, according to Blake.