Bellevue University to build $24 million sports complex

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Bellevue University will inaugurate a $24 million athletic field on Friday.

Mary Hawkins, president of the private university, said the pitch was overdue. Its construction will be associated with approximately $8 million in renovations for four existing buildings on campus, including the Gordon Lozier Athletic Center.

Construction of the pavilion, which will be larger than 72,000 square feet, is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

The two-level field will include several competition and training courts for basketball and volleyball, as well as other sports facilities such as a weight room and locker rooms. The country house will also have a press room, an office and meeting and storage space.

The planned construction and renovation projects come as the university continues to expand its athletic offerings. In recent years, it has added women’s basketball, outdoor track and field and esports programs to help bring the total number of female student-athletes to nearly 200.

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But the facilities have not kept pace with the athletic department’s growth. Hawkins said the current sports center, for example, does not meet height regulations for volleyball.

In addition to hosting volleyball games and basketball games, the future Bellevue University pavilion will include a weight room, locker rooms, a press room and spaces for offices, meetings and storage.


“I should have done this gym probably 15 years ago,” Hawkins said, adding that the frugal philosophy of university leaders had helped delay the construction of a new facility.

Bellevue University will also renovate and repurpose existing spaces, including the current Athletic Center, Freeman Lozier Library, Margre H. Durham Student Center, and Durham Administration Building.

Hawkins said the renovations will allow the university to add more student support services. She added that the university will not be able to renovate the existing buildings until the pavilion is built.

“Otherwise the athletes won’t have a place to play,” Hawkins said.

Bellevue University is the latest small post-secondary institution in Nebraska to announce plans for new athletic facilities. This summer, Wayne State College and Peru State College said they would spend $26.5 million and $14.6 millionrespectively, to build domed sports facilities on their campuses.

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