Face lift may be in the future for Tomlinson

Simo Rul, Senior Sports Reporter

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Built in 1959, Tomlinson stadium is the oldest stadium in the GNAC. But this old building is starting to show its age as the track, which hasn’t been resurfaced since 1992, is beginning to show some cracks.

On Nov. 2 the board of trustees will meet and decide whether or not to renovate Tomlinson stadium and  build a new track.

The total cost of all of the renovations is about $8 million and will include both building a new track and Tomlinson’s renovations.

Big upgrades would also be coming to Tomlinson stadium. The updates would include the new track in the northwest corner behind the stadium at the intersection of Wildcat Way and 18th Ave.

“We would actually remove the existing track and then put in artificial turf that would be large enough to accommodate rugby, soccer and football,” said CWU Athletic Director Dr. Dennis Francois.

According to Francois, CWU Athletics is planning to build a regulation NCAA 400-meter track with areas for jumps and throws. The plan is to also add more lights to Tomlinson stadium.

“Having lights on the track as well as the turf in field of that track, allows our students to go out there and athletically as well to have track meets that go beyond sunset” Francois said.

Adding lights to Tomlinson stadium would be beneficial to many. Night games tend to bring out more people and have a better atmosphere than day games.

The prospect of playing night games gives the team a chance to have more people come watch, while also making the atmosphere around campus special, head coach Ian Shoemaker said.

The addition of artificial turf will benefit the players on the field, but will also keep the game cleaner than if it was played on a regular grass field. Turf helps players have better grip than they would on regular grass.

“When it’s raining, people aren’t slipping around or sliding around [on turf]. We [won’t] have to really worry about the mud,” said sophomore running back Hasani Childs.

Shoemaker agreed with Childs, saying many were recruited knowing there was the potential for the expansion in the near future.  

“It’s always a positive, everything in recruiting at some point becomes an arms race,” Shoemaker said. “Scholarships are similar, then they’re gonna look at things like location, facilities and things like that. We have a great faculty, tuition dollars, location, now we need to add great facilities to add that last piece to our arms race in the recruiting process.”

Shoemaker is also excited about the idea of being able to use the fields during the winter with the addition of artificial turf, a foreign concept to CWU Athletics until now.  

With the grass field being used often by the football team and the track starting to crack, this has been a long time coming for CWU. The opportunity is here and they want to capitalize on it.

If CWU gets the green light from the board of trustees, they would work on making schematic designs in the next few months.

In February or March they would go and look to bid for a contractor that would allow them to begin the construction in early spring.

“Our university has done an exceptional job of meeting and exceeding expectations of our general students,” Francois said. “When students who are from out of town, freshmen students, or a first time transfer student steps a foot onto our campus and sees our academic classrooms, academic buildings, recreation facility, the SURC, and looks at our residence halls. Looking at the new halls we have put in Wendell Hill, Barto, and those upgrades, I think we meet and exceed the expectations of college students when they step onto our campus.”

The budget on each project is $4 million. This is all an estimate until they meet with a design consultant, then they will have a better idea of how much the budget would be.

Rec services will fund the expansion as the members have already met and agreed to fund it. The Tomlinson stadium upgrades would come from private fundraising.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Face lift may be in the future for Tomlinson”

  1. Paul Zurfluh on November 3rd, 2017 4:23 pm

    Central Washington University, it’s student body , student- athletes, athletic department, the Ellensburg community, the citizens of the State of Washington and future students and student athletes deserves this update and with a sense of time is long overdue. This move would be consistent with Central’s over all mission of a having a first class educational institution that has had a consistent forward vision toward the future. We deserve this facility update ! Go Cats !

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Face lift may be in the future for Tomlinson