UT’s RecSports Field Complex at Sutherland Avenue has received the award for Outstanding Outdoor Sports Facilities from NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. This award recognizes newly constructed, renovated, or expanded outdoor sports facilities at NIRSA member institutions.
The complex opened in August 2013 following an extensive three-year demolition and construction period that transformed the Sutherland Avenue landscape. The thirty-eight-plus-acre complex provides the UT community with four full-size natural grass fields, four full-size synthetic turf fields, two softball fields equipped with dugouts and outfield fencing, and three sand volleyball courts. The complex includes an outdoor pavilion used to host a variety of events, a central building equipped with bathrooms, equipment storage, an athletic training room, and an office. Additionally, the complex is outfitted with a maintenance building that houses equipment and supplies used for maintaining the facility.
The $14.6 million project incorporates numerous sustainable elements which meet the minimum of Silver LEED qualifications, which is mandated by UT. Highlights include:
- Musco “Light Structure Green” fixtures were installed on all ten field areas.
- Recycled rubber/sand in-fill were added in the four synthetic turf field areas.
- Recycled rubber boundaries were installed around the sand volleyball courts.
- An on-site well was drilled for irrigation.
- Cambridge underground drainage systems were installed in the fields.
- Bio-swales were installed in the parking lot with low curbs to catch and filter rain water, along with decreasing and possibly eliminating any of this water entering the storm sewers.
Additionally, the complex is connected to the four and a half-mile Third Creek Greenway, which encourages students to walk or bike.
RecSports has seen tremendous growth since opening the complex in 2013. Intramural Sports programming has seen a 27 percent increase in the number of league and tournaments offered. Outdoor field space for land-based Sport Clubs has increased from being able to accommodate 22 percent of their needs for practices and competitions to 100 percent since the opening of the complex.
In addition to measureable growth for the Intramural and Sport Club programs, RecSports is now able to provide a dedicated outdoor space for informal recreational activities on campus. The turf fields next to TRECS previously occupied by intramural programming are now reserved for daily and nightly informal recreation.
For more information, visit the RecSports website.