New practice facility confirmed for Ball State athletic department

The Daily News

Charlie Cardinal holds the hand of a Ball State fan during the game Wednesday in Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO TAYLOR IRBY
Charlie Cardinal holds the hand of a Ball State fan during the game Wednesday in Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO TAYLOR IRBY

Ball State athletics will soon announce a plan for a new volleyball and basketball practice facility, along with the possibility of other improved sports facilities.

Ball State women’s volleyball coach Steve Shondell confirmed that a new basketball and volleyball practice facility will be built on the northwest side of Worthen arena. New basketball locker rooms will be included in the new practice facility, while the old ones will be expanded and used by the women’s and men’s volleyball teams.

“Having a brand new practice facility is huge,” Shondell said. “I really think it is going to help recruiting. A new practice field isn’t going to help with attendance at events, but it sure is going to help with recruiting.”

A person, who asked to stay anonymous and is familiar with a fundraising plan to pay for the facilities, said it involves millions in funds for improvements, including more sports facilities than volleyball and basketball.

Shondell said he wasn’t sure if other athletic facilities would receive improvements or how much updated facilities would cost. He did say, though, that funds from a campaign would go toward updated facilities.

Joan Todd, executive director of Public Relations, said in an email the university will make an announcement about the athletic department Saturday.

“President Gora and Athletic Director Bill Scholl will make a presentation of an exciting new vision for the future of Ball State Athletics,” Todd said in an email.

Todd, along with university spokesman Tony Proudfoot, declined to provide more details before the Saturday announcement. Shondell said he hadn’t heard about the announcement.

Shondell said he found out about the fundraising plan two or three months ago during two meetings with the Board of Trustees, the Ball State foundation and other Ball State coaches.

“We needed practice facilities in the worst way,” Shondell said. “They were really planning to do this and get us excited about the future.”

Shondell said he believes the university has already raised “quite a bit” of money, and will be able to make the improvement within the next few years.

“From what I’ve heard it’s unfortunately two to three years... when it will be completed,” Shondell said. “I wish it would be here in another year.”