The latest announcement of a new building at Ball State will be a an indoor practice facility.

At Ball State’s Board of Trustees meeting Friday, Bernard Hannon, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, announced and approved the design and construction of a $15 million indoor practice facility.

Hannon estimates the building to be 84,000 square feet, have regulation-sized football turf field, batting cages, storage and restrooms. The site will be located just south of Scheumann stadium and adjacent to the practice fields on Bethel Avenue.

The proposed site of the indoor practice facility will be located just south of Scheumann Stadium and adjacent to the practice fields on Bethel Avenue. The facility will possibly be completed in the summer of 2021. Marc Ransford, Photo Provided

Mike Neu, head football coach, called the approval of the facility “a game changer” for all athletic teams and organizations on campus.

“I’m excited because I know there’s a lot of hard work done,” Neu said. "It’s been talked about for a long period of time, and to see it all happen today was quite honestly overwhelming.”

Beth Goetz, director of athletics, said the facility will be “certainly impactful, I think across our community.”

The facility will be used for the university’s football, baseball, softball and soccer programs and serve as a multipurpose venue for the Pride of Mid-America Marching Band, academic programming, student recreation, and Ball State Foundation, alumni and community events. 

Apart from Ball State, Goetz said the facility will also be used by students at Burris Laboratory School.

She said teams have to deal with inclement weather from time to time, limiting their ability to get the appropriate training. 

“We just busted the seams in terms of recreational space,” Goetz said. “Really excited to have such generous supporters to allow us to build this facility.”

Hannon said $13.7 million has already been committed to the project which will be 100 percent gift funded. Ball State will cash flow the project — using its reserves to get the project completed — and make the money back as the gifts come in.

Donors to the project thus far include John and June Scheumann, Dan and Heather Towriss, Craig and Teneen Dobbs, Larry Owens, and Ken and Peggy Briner, who have all donated at least $1 million.

Bernard Hannon, vice president for business affairs and treasurer, said the exterior of Ball State's new indoor practice field might look like the above image. The exterior design is subject to change, he said. Marc Ransford, Photo Provided 

Ball State is the only school in the Mid-American Conference that does not have an indoor practice facility, Hannon said.

Over the last three years, Ball State’s football team has had to change, adjust or cancel practice sessions 36 times, Neu said.

“To not have that be the case anymore is awesome because the class schedules don’t change,” Neu said. “To be able to have that is incredible.”

He said the facility will help attract new recruits to the university because of the resources they will have.

“We’re in the middle of a significant recruiting period right now in April and May,” Neu said. “And so, to have this information out there that this is going to happen at Ball State will be a major, major boost for us in recruiting also.”

The project’s timeline states construction could begin in spring 2020 after state approval and the design process, possibly being completed in summer 2021.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.