ISU athletics lays groundwork to raise funds for new indoor practice site

Horton Field House
Illinois State University uses Horton Field House for athletics, academics and recreation for ISU students and staff. (Photo by B Corbin/WJBC)

By Eric Stock

NORMAL – Illinois State’s athletic department is starting to gauge interest in a new indoor practice facility to complement Horton Field House, not replace it.

Athletics director Larry Lyons told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin, there’s so many daily activities, in athletics alone, that a second indoor facility is needed.

PODCAST: Listen to Scott’s interview with Lyons on WJBC.

“It frees up time academically and recreationally, so Horton will still be a very usable facility, but to build an multi-purpose indoor (facility) makes a lot of sense to me,” Lyons said. “The problem is paying for it.”

Lyons said a deluxe indoor site would cost close to $25 million, but a scaled-down model would be less expensive. He acknowledged the money would have to come privately as the university has already set aside millions for improvements to Bone Student Center and a new College of Fine Arts building.

“There’s other things that are a priority on that campus and we certainly understand that so we are going to have to fundraise a vast majority of this and it’s going to have to come privately,” Lyons said.

Lyons noted it’s been less than five years since Hancock Stadium got a major facelift.

ISU is looking at the site where the football team practices north of the field house for an indoor facility, but he added there’s no timeline for such a project.

Eric Stock can be reached at eric.stock@cumulus.com.

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