(AUSTIN) – Athletic facilities at Sul Ross State University’s Jackson Field will be upgraded in time for the Lobos’ first home football game, thanks to a gift from the Texas State University System Foundation. The Foundation’s Board of Directors authorized a gift to the university to pay for the construction of a new field house for the Lobos football team and the conversion of existing Jackson Field facilities to a visiting team locker room and a student weight training facility.
The centerpiece of the project will be a new 5,000 square-foot home team field house and locker room. The new facility will include 120 lockers, restrooms, showers, whirlpools, a training area, and laundry and storage facilities.
The current field house and locker room will undergo cosmetic work in order to accommodate visiting teams. Additionally, the current visiting team locker room will be upgraded and furnished with new weight training equipment for Sul Ross student athletes.
Texas State University System Chancellor Brian McCall, Ph.D., identified the project as a critical need for Sul Ross’ athletic program after meeting with university and community leaders last year. The facilities at Jackson Field have not been upgraded since 1993.
“Creating a well-rounded university experience, both for students and for the surrounding communities, is important for Sul Ross’ future success,” said Chancellor McCall. “We are grateful to the TSUS Foundation for providing private funding to help build a stronger athletic program that will benefit Sul Ross State University and its students for many years to come.”
“The funds provided by the foundation were a welcome surprise to us and we are deeply appreciative to the TSUS Foundation for recognizing our needs and acting quickly,” said President Ricardo Maestas. “This gift will enable Sul Ross Lobos to have a top-notch facility and to build upon our Lobo pride and traditions in our community.”
The Texas State University System and Sul Ross State University have launched several new initiatives over the past three years as part of a comprehensive effort to increase student enrollment.
In 2011, TSUS secured $7 million in state funding to replace an antiquated boiler unit with a state-of-the-art heating system. The new system, which was installed last year, is expected to reduce the university’s natural gas consumption by one-third, saving Sul Ross $300,000 annually.
Earlier this year, the Texas State University System provided $1.8 million to support scholarships for Big Bend area students who apply and are accepted at Sul Ross. The funding will sustain dozens of scholarships each year through 2022.
Construction on the new athletic facilities will begin this summer and is expected to be completed by October 12, when the Lobos will play their first home football game against Mississippi College.
The Texas State University System is Texas’ first university system, comprising eight institutions from west Texas to the Gulf Coast. The TSUS Foundation is a private, non-profit organization established to support and promote the System and its member institutions.