Ferris State University officially broke ground on the Bulldogs' new Center for Athletics Performance project as a ground breaking ceremony took place on Thursday (Oct. 14) at the Ewigleben Sports Complex.
The major upgrade to FSU's athletic facilities, which was approved by the university's Board of Trustees and announced this past spring, will soon enable FSU student-athletes to train and compete with the best.
The speakers during Thursday morning's groundbreaking ceremony included FSU President David Eisler, recently-retired Athletic Director Perk Weisenburger, new Athletics Director Steve Brockelbank, Bulldog Football alum and project visionary Jeff Schmitz along with women's basketball student-athlete Zoe Anderson, who represented FSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, in addition to representatives from Granger Construction.
"I believe every student-athlete and every athletic team from Ferris State University will benefit from this important project," Eisler said during the groundbreaking ceremony.
The university's Board of Trustees approved the renovation and construction project, which will include a new and expanded strength and conditioning space, a new multipurpose arena and competition space for the volleyball program and practice area for other sports, additional and renovated locker room facilities along with team meeting spaces along with other elements.
The upgrades will offer championship-caliber training and conditioning facilities to the nearly 400 Bulldog student-athletes and 17 varsity programs.
"It was evident to me during the interview process that Ferris State places a high value on the student-athlete experience, which includes development and preparing student-athletes to compete and win championships," said Brockelbank. "I'm only four days into the job and there are very few athletic directors anywhere that can say they are part of a groundbreaking for a major project like this so early into their tenure, which demonstrates the value placed upon our teams and student-athletes."
The university community identified the need for the renovation and expansion of the Ewigleben Sports Complex as part of its Big Rapids campus master plan several years ago. The Board of Trustees officially approved a revised budget and scope for the Center for Athletics Performance in late January.
"We could not be more excited about moving forward with this extremely important project," Weisenburger said, upon announcement of the project this past spring. "We are excited for what this means for our current and future student-athletes, who will now be able to prepare themselves to compete at the highest level in modernized and much improved facilities."
An Ann Arbor-based architecture, design and planning firm, The Collaborative, is currently contributing to the CAP project. Meanwhile, Granger Construction will oversee the subcontracting firms, who will take up approximately 7,200 square feet of renovation work and the development of nearly 16,000 square feet of new construction to create the Center for Athletics Performance. This work includes a new home for the volleyball program, Bulldog Arena, in addition to a new entry and connector space.
The Center for Athletics Performance will provide student-athletes with increased space for strength and conditioning, cardio work, training and nutrition.
The Ewigleben Sports Complex was originally constructed in 1974 with the current volleyball arena, which will be transformed into the new Center for Athletics Performance, added on in 1982. Ferris State built Jim Wink Arena off the existing structure in 1999 and renovations to the ice arena were last made in 2007. The new Bulldog Arena addition will sit to the east side of the main concourse near both the existing Ewigleben Ice Arena and Wink Arena.
For additional information on the Center for Athletics Performance project, please visit this link: