New track facility due for Terps by spring 1995 New stands, lanes set for soccer field

August 29, 1993|By Paul McMullen | Paul McMullen,Staff Writer

COLLEGE PARK -- Two-sport wannabes like Jermaine Lewis and the track and field program at Maryland will get a boost if plans to build a facility for the sport are realized.

A six-lane track was a casualty in the renovation of Byrd Stadium, and for the last three springs the Terps' track and field teams have been bussed to practice at nearby Parkdale High School. Maryland athletic director Andy Geiger said that plans -- are proceeding for a project that would construct a track facility around the soccer field.

"I can't announce anything specific, but the Campus Cabinet has approved the project," Geiger said. "I need to meet with the vice president, an engineer and an architect and the other two partners to determine the specifics."

Geiger said that the facility would be a joint project of the athletic department, Campus Recreation Services and the College of Health and Human Performance. Geiger said it would cost between $2.5 million and $3 million, and that it could be ready for use by spring 1995 if construction begins next summer as planned.

Geiger also mentioned the possibility of playing some lacrosse games there when the opponent doesn't warrant the use of Byrd Stadium.

"I don't know how many seats we're talking about," Geiger said. "We want to get the athletes in place first, but between soccer, track and field and lacrosse, I'd like to have a little stadium there."

The all-weather track would be constructed with wide, European-style turns that wouldn't affect the width of the soccer field. The soccer field itself has always been one of the best in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but its appeal is hurt by limited bleacher seating.

Geiger said that two past leaders of Maryland sports, former track coach and athletic director Jim Kehoe and Col. Tom Fields, the former director of the Maryland Educational Foundation, led a fund-raising drive for the project that amassed approximately $280,000. That total will be matched by the state.

Track and field coach Bill Goodman said a new track could attract football players since he's limited to offering one new scholarship a year over the next five years.

"Kids [football recruits] are told they can go out for track and field," Goodman said. "They get here and see that the school doesn't have a track, and think 'This can't be a serious track school.' This will change that."

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