SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Some big changes are underway at Augustana University. By this time next year, the heart of the campus will look a lot different.
Construction is already underway, this area in the heart of the campus will be a 100-yard football field with lights and seating areas with charging stations. The “green,” as it’s being called will also include an outdoor classroom with amphitheater-style seating and a fountain. The renovation is part of a $50 million housing plan. Augustana Dean of Students Mark Blackburn says they wanted an area where 4 to 5 students could gather for activities and intramural sports.
“This is a great piece of the puzzle that will bring everybody together on campus,” said Blackburn.
The Viking Marching Band will also have space and won’t have to wait for its turn on the football field.
“There was a student who came to me and said ‘hey, Dean Blackburn we are looking at our sheet music underneath a light pole, and that’s not good for anybody, so we wanted to make sure there is some space, lights, a field regulation size field they can go out and practice have fun and get better at their craft,'” said Blackburn.
Tom Hanson: For you as dean what is it like to see this underway?
“Oh I think about my predecessors before me and so this has been a long time coming,” said Blackburn.
Jenifer Fjelstad just graduated in May and says the students are looking forward to the improvements.
“Any future Viking be able to benefit from using the spaces and all the different activities and events that will be able to be held there it is really exciting.”
Tom Hanson: So as a student do you see the need for something like this?
“Oh definitely it’s great to have a space right in the middle of campus to gather,” said Fjelstad.
The entire project should be complete by the fall of 2023.