Cost: $27 million
In January 1997, the Board of Trustees approved $27 million to fund the planning and construction of a new indoor sports complex. The project also included a significant expansion to Kelly/Shorts Stadium. Funds would be raised through a bond and through private contributions. Donations would be encouraged through sales of bricks that would be imprinted with a donor's personalized message and then arranged in a plaza at the entrance to the expanded stadium. University officials argued that the construction and expansion were necessary to keep pace with the Mid-American Conference and NCAA Division I-A competition and compliance.
The Indoor Athletic Complex was designed by architect Richard Black. Groundbreaking took place at a pregame homecoming ceremony on October 11, 1997. The $28 million project called for an indoor athletic facility to be built on the west side of Kelly/Shorts Stadium. There would be a new outdoor track just south of the facility as well. Construction of the project forced the relocation of intramural athletic competition, which was moved to a parcel of university-owned land on the corner of Broomfield and Crawford Roads west of Kewadin Village that had previously been leased as farm land. The University allocated $775,000 to build the new intramural facilities, which would provide better drainage and offer lighting for night games on most of the fields. During construction, CMU intramural softball was temporarily moved to the fields at Island Park, while soccer and flag football were able to remain at the old fields along West Campus Drive east of Kewadin Village.
The interior of the new complex was designed to offer state-of-the-art practice facilities to athletes and athletic faculty at CMU. The complex was designed in two major sections. One section would be used by softball, baseball, field hockey, and football as a fully-equipped practice facility. The other section would house men's and women's track. In addition, there was a weight and training room as well as academic enhancement facilities. The complex featured a 100-yard field that could be used by a variety of teams, a 200-meter indoor track, and a variety of academic labs for student athlete use.
Construction on the project proceeded rapidly, and the entire complex (including the expansion to Kelly/Shorts Stadium) was dedicated at a home football game on September 12, 1998. Over 26,000 were in attendance to witness the ribbon cutting ceremony, which was conducted by President Leonard Plachta, architect Richard Black, and several members of CMU athletic teams.