ABILENE, Texas - Hardin-Simmons University President Dr. Lanny Hall and the Board of Trustees have announced plans for two immediate major athletic facility upgrades as part of the school's Transformation 2020 Campaign.
HSU will build a new tennis facility and will also install synthetic turf on the playing surface and north end zone practice field of historic Parramore Field at Shelton Stadium.
"This is an exciting time for our department with the Shelton Stadium renovations being included in the initial stages of Transformation 2020," said John Neese, HSU Director of Athletics. "We are grateful to the donors who are making this a reality for both our football and tennis programs."
The tennis facility will be built near the intersection of Simmons and Vogel streets on the west side of campus at a cost of just over one million dollars. Initially, the facility will feature eight lighted post-tension concrete courts with fencing and wind screens.
The university is in the process of securing contributions for a tennis field house with locker rooms and offices. In the future, the university hopes to add four additional courts within a covered pavilion.
"Hardin-Simmons' tennis teams have consistently competed at a championship level dating back to the1953 men's national championship," said HSU tennis coach Shane Williford.
"Our donors and the university are being more than generous by returning the favor in what I believe will be one of the nicest tennis facilities in the nation. Not only will our current players and coaches enjoy the new facility, but I also believe it will give us a competitive advantage in recruiting players to uphold our strong tradition," Williford said .
The installation of turf for Shelton Stadium will begin as soon as possible and will be completed by mid-spring. The total area of the turf will be 137,161 square feet and this project will cost approximately one million dollars. The project will give HSU one full turf football field plus the 50yard field north of the existing game fielde for practice.
"The improvements to Shelton Stadium will enhance the care that we take of our players," said Jesse Burleson, HSU head football coach. "We always strive to do the best we can by them on and off the field.
"We are extremely thankful and excited about the turf and it will be a great shot in the arm for our program. It will positively affect our current student athletes and also help in recruiting for Hardin-Simmons and for Cowboy Football."
The two projects are part of Hardin-Simmons' recently announced Transformation 2020 Campaign. Moving the tennis courts to their new location, will make room for the the state-of-the-art Wilkins Wellness Center, which will be where the Streich Tennis Center is currently located. The Wilkins Center will have over 50,000 square feet of academic, recreational, fitness and wellness facilities.
"The addition of turf will help eliminate many of the weather issues we have had with natural grass," said Neese. "The new location of the tennis center will allow us to expand the facility which we are unable to do at the current location."
For more information on the Transformation 2020 Campaign, please visit the campaign's web site at transformation.hsutx.edu/
Information provided by HSU athletics department.