Wittenberg University celebrated raising a 28,000-pound steel beam Friday that signifies progress as the small liberal arts college continues to build a big health, wellness and athletic facility on its campus. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Construction for Wittenberg’s new athletic field house sees progress

Wittenberg University celebrated raising a 28,000-pound steel beam Friday that signifies progress as the small liberal arts college continues to build a big health, wellness and athletic facility on its campus.

Seeing the beam take its place was exciting, Wittenberg President Mike Frandsen said.

“This is really the point at which we can see, and the entire Wittenberg and Springfield communities can see, the shape that this is going to take and the benefits it’s going to bring to our campus, to our students, faculty, staff and we hope to Springfield and the entire region.”

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The sports complex is projected to be 260,000 square feet and house the exercise science and sports management academic programs, have locker rooms and training spaces for athletic teams and it will have fitness and recreational space that will be available to everyone on campus, Frandsen said.

Wittenberg officials have been working for several years to get to this point, Athletic Director Gary Williams said.

“The campus has been thinking about this project for a long time. This project and this construction is the work of a ton of people that have collaborated together. This has been one of the truest collaborations between a campus within itself and with the community to try to realize a facility that will be for everybody.”

Williams said it’s rare to find a sports complex like the one being built at a small school like Wittenberg.

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“I would tell you this building is one of kind for a small college campus like ours,” he said. “It is a transformational opportunity for a school like Wittenberg.”

Wittenberg University is a major Springfield employer with an estimated $70 million impact on the region’s economy. It opened in 1845.

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