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Facilities: We have the list of things to build for athletics

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We've got a list of projects. I've waited long enough for the feasibility study. I've waited long enough for President Barchi to get going. I have a list of projects. And a timeline.

You've waited long enough....here it is.

We showed you the University's Master Plan.  And Athletics is doing a feasibility study which is scheduled to be made public....some day.  Now here's our version (okay, my version) of the On the Banks Athletics Master Plan. Every sport is addressed, every sport gets something. These are legitimate needs.

First, you need to have a list of things you want to do.  So here's mine in very broad terms.  In my priority order:

Priority

Project

1

Basketball Practice Facility

2

Multipurpose Indoor Facility

3

Indoor Practice Facility

4

Lights for Bainton Field

5

Indoor/outdoor Tennis Facility

6

Move Softball adjacent to Bainton Field

7

???

8

???

9

???

10

???

11

???

12

???

13

???

14

???

What does it all mean?  What's it all for?  Here's the explanation, the rationale, and the timeline for the whole thing.  At least the first six.

Priority 1, Basketball Practice Facility: Really?  You need to ask?  It has been everyone's No. 1 item since Dave White learned to read and write.  It is needed to allow both MBB and WBB to practice when they want and to free up the RAC for other things.  Period.  End of discussion.  Questions?  I didn't think so.

Where we put that ties in with some of the other things we build.  And that leads us to....

Priority 2, Multipurpose Indoor Facility:  What, you say?  It would serve primarily as an indoor track and field facility, both for practice and competition.  That's something that isn't available now, unless you consider the track inside the bubble a track practice facility.  As a comparison, look at Penn State's uniquely named Multi-Sport Facilty & Horace Ashenfelter III Indoor Track.  Why, again, you ask?  Because we need it.  Track and Cross Country need it.  New Jersey high school track needs it.  Read what PSU says about their version:

The new facility, near the outdoor track on Porter Road, includes a 200-meter track with spectator seating and amenities.  It also has basketball courts, locker rooms, a strength training room and storage, a turf field, and serves both the new indoor and the existing outdoor tracks. Both the men's and women's track teams practice and compete in this facility, which is also accessible to a variety of other college sports.

Okay, you say, but why as a second priority?  Because I plan to tear down the bubble (meaning football needs a place to practice indoors) in order to build.....

Priority 3, Indoor Practice/Team Facility:  Wait, you say, what was number 2 for if we're doing it again?  AHA! But we aren't, because this indoor facility is for the "field sports": Soccer, Lacrosse, Field Hockey.  It provides an indoor venue for practice, new locker/team facilities close to their fields, and opens space in both the RAC and the Hale Center for other uses.  Oh, did I mention that we're adding a full band practice hall and offices so the band has a permanent home and a place to practice indoors?  Yeah, that's there, too.

Priority 4, Lights for baseball:  Why? Because everybody has them.  Everybody in the B1G.  Did you know that more than half of the baseball programs in the Big Ten Conference either have new or renovated stadiums, or they are in the fundraising or construction phases?  The Big Ten and baseball!  At Purdue, who Rutgers just beat 2 out of 3, there's a $21 million baseball stadium with 1,500 permanent seats and full press facilities.  Purdue....not LSU or Texas....Purdue!  New Brunswick's average April temps are at or better than most Big Ten towns.  We can play at night.  Put in the lights.

Priority 5, New indoor/outdoor tennis complex:  First off, we lost six tennis courts several years ago because football needed more parking behind the stadium.  We have six pretty bland courts and when indoor courts are needed Rutgers plays at a local tennis club.  Come on!  And besides, the University community - and outside folks for a fee - could use them, too.  You want to be good, you need good stuff.

Yes, this is the Rutgers Tennis "Complex" - it has a complex!

And while we're putting lights on Bainton Field - and already are building an indoor facility for the diamond folks....

Priority 6, New softball field adjacent to baseball:  This is sort of an option, but let's do things right.  If you put the two about 50 yards closer to each other - and closer to the indoor facility - you can share amenities and you create a better fan and player environment. And, yes, you put in lights.

So we're almost half way through my list.  Lets stop and ponder.  When does this all happen?  Well, despite money worries, you need to fast track stuff.  Get momentum and keep rolling.  Here's my timeline for the first six projects:

Priority

Project

Break Ground

Operational

1

Basketball Practice Facility

2015 Fall

2017 Spring

2

Multipurpose Indoor Facility: track

2016 Spring

2017 Fall

3

Indoor Practice Facility: field sports

2017 Spring

2018 Fall

4

Lights for Bainton Field

2015 Fall

2016 Spring

5

Indoor/outdoor Tennis Facility

2016 Spring

2017 Fall

6

Move Softball adjacent to Bainton Field

2016 Fall

2017 Spring

Crazy? Of course, but it is what is needed.  If we're going to be in the Big Ten, as Senator Lesniak said, "act like it."  Not just in spending money, but in creating an environment for athletes and fans that is worthy of the name Big Ten.  I'll let those first six projects sink in, marinate, and grow in your heads.  Then I'll come back with the rest.

I love dreaming...especially when the dreams are realistic.  Tell us what you think.  There's more to come but, so far, where do you stand?

Tomorrow: More ideas from the list