LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Today is not only the start of the spring semester at UW-La Crosse, but it also marks a new beginning for the university’s track and field teams.

“The original idea for the project started in 2013 or 2014. Funding had to be decided and figured out, and then we needed to take it through the process with the board of regents at the UW system. And then we were finally able to start construction in 2020.”

“It’s really somewhat limitless to the type of activities this can be used for. From an intercollegiate competition standpoint, primarily would just be track and field and tennis, but from a practice standpoint, just about every athletic team could use it from a practice standpoint. And then student recreation will use it also, they could use it for anything from ultimate frisbee to indoor soccer, to lacrosse, and then our exercise, sports science program will use it for instruction.”

“To have a new place to call home has been really incredible, the amount of morale boosts it’s given our teams, just the ability to run more efficient practices when you have a women’s track team of about 85-90 women, and a guy’s track team of similar size. Having a large space makes it more efficient for us to have practices.”

“A lot of our recruits have visited d2 and d1 schools. I feel like if we’re on a level playing field, so to speak, with academics and all that kind of stuff, with another school and then they come into this place, that’s definitely the thing that tips them over the edge.” 

Fifty percent of the 49 million dollar project was funded by a student referendum, with the rest of the money coming from the university’s general fund.