Getting Ready to Get Colorful

July 29, 2005

Fans of the Iowa Hawkeyes who drive past the multi-million dollar West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center may notice a few new bright colors upon a gaze in the next couple of weeks. With less than a month before the 2005-06 athletics season begins on the UI campus, the construction crews are working very hard to meet important deadlines and provide Iowa’s men’s and women’s tennis teams a new home for varsity competition.

“There’s a whole lot of work going on out there, and the progress being made is outstanding,” said Jane Meyer, the senior associate athletic director, who heads the West Campus Project along with the renovation of historic Kinnick Stadium.

“There’s a whole lot of work going on out there, and the progress being made is outstanding.”
Jane Meyer, Iowa’s senior associate athletics director

The 12 outdoor tennis courts on the site, which will be the home courts of the men and women’s tennis teams come this fall, will be one of the bright colors fans see because they will be painted within the next two weeks. “The courts will be blue, with a green out of bounds – the color scheme adopted by the U.S. Open

When classes resume on the UI campus on Aug. 22, “the tennis courts should be ready for competition,” Meyer said, adding that the surrounding fence area of the tennis courts is also being erected and should be completed by that time as well.

In addition to the outdoor tennis courts, eight more courts will be indoors and ready for the 2006 competitive season. “The men and women’s tennis teams have been excited about this for years,” Meyer said. “Now they will have state-of-the-art facilities to practice and compete on and also to use in their recruiting efforts.”

Another color fans might glance upon in the UI’s West Campus is the bright green color of the artificial surface being installed in the new Grant Field, the home of the University of Iowa field hockey team. The turf, which head coach Tracey Griesbaum believes “will produce a better brand of field hockey,” is slated to go down next week.

Lights are also expected to be installed on Aug. 12 for Grant Field. “The goal is to be done as soon as possible, so that the field hockey team can get on there and start to practice,” said Meyer, who added that the irrigation of Grant Field will also be finished in the next weeks.

The first field hockey competition is slated for Aug. 27 when Griesbaum and her defending Big Ten Conference champions host Wake Forest as part of the 2005 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan and North Carolina are the other teams that will participate in that special two-day, four-game event.

Meyer said the completion of the site will be a good thing for the UI”s Athletics Hall of Fame.

“Right now, the entire are looks very unfinished and people don’t really know what is out there. Once the site is completed, it will allow us to put up signage on the road to direct friends and fans to the UI Hall of Fame, the West Campus Tennis and Recreation Center, the UI Soccer Complex and the new Grant Field,” said Meyer. “This will be a major attraction to visitors.”

Meyer is very pleased with the progress that is being made and looks forwad to the impact the finished project will have on the intercollegiate athletics program at the UI.

“The bottom line is that this site will provide four varsity teams with excellent facilities to practice and compete on. We are always so happy to hear all of the positive feedback from the coaches and our student-athletes.

“There is no question that the sports involved in the West Campus project – our field hockey, soccer and men’s and women’s tennis programs – are very excited about the project and what it will mean to their team’s potential for success.”