Quarantine Self-Improvements

IUS Athletic Department underwent renovations to Activities Building, Koetter Sports Complex during semester shutdown

A+closer+look+at+the+new+IUS+Athletics+logo%2C+part+of+the+renovation+to+the+Activities+Building%27s+basketball+court.

IUS Department of Athletics

A closer look at the new IUS Athletics logo, part of the renovation to the Activities Building's basketball court.

Brandon Miniard, Sports Editor

On March 16, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced its decision to cancel all spring sports for the 2020 season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. While the cancellations brought an unexpected and disappointing end to the baseball, softball, and tennis seasons at IU Southeast, the IUS Athletic Department used the extended offseason to make essential renovations to most of its facilities.

The situation ultimately works in favor of the athletic department, as they had originally planned to begin their projects during the summer and the first few weeks of the current semester.

“These projects have been in design and planning for two to three years,” said Director of Athletics Joe Glover. “Due to the current events we have been facing, the softball field and gym floor restoration projects were moved up from the summer to take advantage of the downtime in the facilities so that once we got back on campus we wouldn’t have to shut the facilities down again for these long-scheduled and planned projects.”

A wider look at the renovated basketball court at the Activities Building, including the new athletic department logo and modified three-point line for Men’s Basketball (red). Photo provided by the IUS Department of Athletics.

The first facility to receive renovations was the Activities Building, most specifically the hardwood court that serves as home base for the Grenadier Volleyball and Men’s and Women’s Basketball programs. The hardwood flooring was resanded for the first time since 2007 when the Grenadiers changed their school colors to crimson and white.

In addition, the new floor also features the new Grenadier Athletics logo, as well as renewed three-point lines that abide by new NCAA standards, pushing the three-point back to 22’ 1 and ¾ at the top of the key and 21’ 7 and ⅞ at the corners, matching the distance played at the international level. The total cost of the restoration estimates around $34,765.

“The gym floor was sanded and repainted with newly required lines, an example being the new NCAA men’s basketball three-point line,” Glover said of the new hardwood. “The branding was also updated to include our new athletic logo and Grenadier Bold Font.”

The softball field at Koetter Sports Complex during renovation over the summer, including a new arc of the infield grass graded by professional contractors. Photo provided by IUS Department of Athletics.

Koetter Sports Complex, which is home to the Grenadier Baseball and Softball programs, also received major renovations. The softball field underwent a complete renovation of its infield, being laser-grade leveled to ensure a safe playing surface. The lengthy process, which estimated to cost around $13,000, is required of NAIA softball fields every 5-7 years.

“They began by laser grading the infield surface and skirt areas to shed water off the field,” Glover said of the process. “Once the final grade was met, all irrigation heads were reinstalled prior to sodding and setting at the new grade of the playing surface. The contractor set a new arc at 60 inches and put a new turf-type fescue over the newly graded arc area. They provided and installed a new home plate and added new clay in batter’s boxes. They also provided and installed a new pitcher’s rubber and clay in the landing zone, along with four tons of field conditioner as a top coat on the new surface.”

The softball team’s new batting tunnel, officially completed on Sept. 4, 2020. Photo provided by IUS Department of Athletics.

The final renovation project benefits both the baseball and softball programs as their fields are getting new batting tunnels. They replace the previous hitting facilities at the fields when the complex was first built, which had been damaged over the last three years as the result of ice storms.

The baseball team is getting two tunnels, which together estimates to cost around $8,872. The lone tunnel at the softball field, which was completed on Sept. 4, estimated to cost $5,349.

“Surprisingly we haven’t had [a batting tunnel] at our field for the past nine seasons or as long as I’ve been here,” Head Softball Coach Joe Witten said of the renovations. “We are delighted to have something that will allow our athletes to continue to reach their total potential.”

The only ongoing project remaining of the athletic department’s renovations, the new batting tunnels at the baseball field at Koetter Sports Complex. Photo by Brandon Miniard.