Ferris State University is currently in the planning process of a new addition to the university’s athletic facilities,
Administrators are overlooking the feasibility of enhancing current athletic facilities with early cost estimates ranging between $5.5 and $6.5 million.
The objective of the Center for Athletics Performance started last summer when Ferris State began exploring the scope and costs associated with building a new strength and conditioning center. They reviewed preliminary design concepts that were donated by a Ferris State alumnus.
The design elements included an addition to the existing Sports Complex with the creation of a new strength and conditioning area for all student-athletes. The facilities would also encompass all areas adjacent to the FSU volleyball arena, which would be renovated and expanded.
The project would also involve the renovation of existing locker rooms, the creation of new locker room space for each team, an enhanced area for sports medicine as well as rooms for meetings and team activities that all help align with the athletics department’s gender equity initiatives.
“The current space conditioning that we’re in is limited and undersized for a Div. 2 program,” said Ferris Athletic Director Perk Weisenburger. “Currently our teams lift or work in shifts due to cramped conditions. Too often our student-athletes have to stretch and exercise in the hallway, and the Center for Athletics Performance would provide us with a facility where several of our teams to train together.”
Weisenburger said not only would the new addition create more opportunities to grow and develop the championship culture that exists among Ferris athletics, but it will also work as a tremendous recruiting tool for Ferris coaching staffs.
Weisenburger said that the current weight room lends itself more to the male athletes.
“We need increased space, better equipment and more multi-purpose space so that we can adequately train the 90-pound female golfer as well as the 320-pound offensive lineman,” said Weisenburger. “Our goal is to build a center for all 380 student-athletes at Ferris State.”
In addition, the plan calls for a new east entrance to the Ewigleben Sports complex with a connecting corridor to the administration and coaches office wing of the complex.
“Currently you either have to go through the hockey arena or go outside to get from the arena area [to the athletic department],” said Weisenburger.
Weisenburger said that the overall goal of the project is to continue to build and create a championship culture at Ferris State.
“We feel there is no better time in the history of our athletics program, on the heels of our national success, to consider building a state-of-the-art training facility that matches those of our conference rivals, helps our coaches recruit athletes at a higher level, enhances the student-athlete’s experience and also contributes to the enhanced image of the university,” said Weisenburger.
Funding for the project will come from a combination of funds through the university and private support. Weisenburger indicated the optimal completion date would be January of 2018.
Weisenburger said, “We’re in the feasibility study stage a little bit with our Ferris foundation helping us with the feasibility study and our ability to raise the money. So we’re not quite there in terms of knowing exactly what it is we’re going to do and how much we need but we’re moving fast and furious and it’s an exciting time for Ferris State athletics and the university.”