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New $12 million athletics project is set to start construction in April

New $12 million athletics project is set to start construction in April

The upcoming Track and Field complex is scheduled to be completed by 2018. Jackie Torres

New $12 million athletics project is set to start construction in April
March 01
17:40 2017

A new UNT track and field complex, costing almost $12 million, will break ground and start construction in April on Bonnie Brae and Willowwood streets and will be fully completed by spring 2018.

“This project has been in the works for several years,” said Jared Mosley, associate vice president and chief operating officer. “There was always a thought at some point we were going to need a new facility because of the age conditions that the track is in.”

Fouts Field

UNT will soon say goodbye to its 65-year-old football stadium Fouts Field. Mosley said it is “outdated” and that the equipment for the new facility will be “enhanced.”

Athletes and coaches are limited to what they can do over at Fouts. The track’s surface is starting to erode. Cracks are beginning to show up on the track and it has become a safety issue, Mosley said. Instead of renovating Fouts Field, which would be “extremely expensive,” it is “economical” to build a new facility.

As of now, UNT is unable to hold its own track and field meets. Fouts is “strictly a practice facility,” Mosley said. With the new facility, this will change, bringing in revenue by selling tickets and getting the attention of student recruits by exposing them to North Texas sports.

The new complex will be built on “very valuable” real estate located on Bonnie Brae and Willowwood streets, south of the tennis complex, Mosley said.

“I am really excited for [the new facility] and to be able to run on a new track next year,” freshman track and field athlete Jaida Johnson said. “I think it is always good for change.”

By November 2017, the track, bleachers and press box will be completed. The operations building where the offices, locker rooms and restrooms are located will be completed by March 2018, Mosley said.

The facility will be home to a new soccer field, which will be located in the middle the track, said Helen Bailey, director of facilities planning and design construction. This will add more capacity seating to the complex for fans.

The $12 million project, Bob Brown said, vice president of finance and admission, will be debt-funded, and the debt repayment will be made over time using local UNT funds.

The complex will seat approximately 1,500 people, whereas Fouts field only seats 500. Other improvements include an unobstructed view of the finish line for fans and expansion of the tennis parking lot for coaches and student-athletes.

“Having this new facility, so it is easy for the fans who are there to watch their sons or daughters to compete makes it fan-friendly and a great fan experience,” Mosley said.

Featured Image: The upcoming Track and Field complex is scheduled to be completed by 2018. Jackie Torres

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Jacqueline Guerrero

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