Upgrades to multiple outdoor athletic facilities at Wartburg College are underway as part of the $3.4 million Outdoor Athletic Facilities Project.
The football field at Walston-Hoover Stadium has been named Zimmerman Field after the family donated $500,000 in part for a new video scoreboard.
The Daktronics board will be 36 feet wide by 15 feet tall and have the normal features of an athletic scoreboard plus the ability to show video, graphics and stats while also enhancing the sound quality in the stadium. It will be one of the largest video boards in Division III according to athletic director Rick Willis.
Part of the Zimmerman’s donation will also help fund the new FieldTurf that was installed over the summer.
“We believe that God has chosen us, as Wartburg alumni, to go out and bear the fruits of love, and we respect the fact that Wartburg is and always has been a faith-based college,” Marge and Richard Zimmerman said in a news release.
Richard is a 1951 graduate of Wartburg and retired ag executive from Mendota, Ill.
The FieldTurf replaces the original turf installed in 2001. The endzones are orange with black lettering instead of black with white lettering.
A new charcoal gray outdoor track was installed at Walston-Hoover Stadium this summer as well. The track replaces the previous orange version that had faded to a near pink color.
“Rich and Marge understand education is about the whole person, not just the intellect, but character and spirit, too,” President Darrel Colson said. “Their generous gift of Zimmerman Field emphasizes the valuable role that our athletic programs play in preparing our students to become the leaders and servants they are called to be. What a blessing for our students to have such selfless benefactors as Rich and Marge.”
Upgrades to baseball and softball fields
Lotus Knief, a 1952 Wartburg graduate, has donated $600,000 to the college for improvements to Hertel Field (baseball) and Lynes Field (softball.)
Crews are in the process of placing an artificial turf infield at Hertel Field that Willis said will allow for more outdoor practice in the spring.
Last spring, teams had troubles getting on the field due to the poor field conditions.
Lynes Field will receive a second bullpen, upgrades to the outfield fence and warning track, a new outfield irrigation system as well as turf management from the Iowa Cubs, contracted by Peters Construction of Waterloo.
The chain-link fences in between the dugouts at both fields will be replaced by a three-foot wall and netting.
New lacrosse field announced
As The Circuit reported in April as a strong possibility, the lacrosse team that will begin play next spring will receive its own artificial turf field.
New online streaming network
Part of the Zimmerman’s donation will also be used to provide upgrades to Walston-Hoover Stadium and Levick Arena that will allow for a new live streaming sports network.
KnightVision will be student-run and provide lives streams from five football games, five basketball doubleheaders, three volleyball matches and two wrestling meets in 2013-14.
The Outdoor Athletic Facilities Project is part of the college’s upcoming Transforming Tomorrow campaign.