One year and one day removed from the passing of former Ball State student and football player, John Scheumann, Ball State University opened the Scheumann Family Indoor Practice Facility Saturday.
The 84,000 square foot facility is named in honor of the late Scheumann and his surviving wife June, who made the lead gift to the project. The field inside the multipurpose complex is named Briner Field to honor Peggy and Kenneth Briner, who graduated from Ball State in 1969.
The couple’s youngest daughter, Lindsay Donaldson, spoke about her late father at the ceremony and said she felt bittersweet about the occasion.
“It’s exciting to be here finally,” Donaldson said. “It’s bittersweet really, just because [Scheumann] is not here with us. But I’m just happy that we’re finally able to do this all together now and honor all the hard work that went into this.”
The approval for the $15 million dollar project was announced in May 2019 and was first available for use in April 2021 when the football team’s spring camp was held in the facility.
The turf field in the stadium measures 360 feet by 160 feet and is a regulation-sized football field with a ceiling height of 65 feet.
Though the facility was built in the style of an indoor football field, Athletic Director Beth Goetz said the space will be used for all types of athletics and extracurricular activities.
“One of the neat things about this facility is that it can be used to service multiple teams and for many events,” Goetz said. “Primarily from a team perspective, our Football, Baseball, Softball and Women’s Soccer team will get practice slots in this facility. But in addition to that, we think there’s going to be plenty of other uses, whether that be for the Pride of [Mid] America Marching Band, student groups, community functions [and] alumni functions.”
President Geoffrey Mearns said the facility’s namesake represented the university in all areas of his life.
“John [Scheumann] is the embodiment of what we believe all of our graduates are and what we hope all of our students will become,” Mearns said. “I often talk about Beneficence as the iconic statue that represents our commitment to enduring values and John certainly was that person.”