NWC plans for new athletic practice facility

Northwestern College is raising funds for a facility that will provide more than 33,000 square feet of indoor practice and training space for Red Raider student-athletes.

Located just west of the Rowenhorst Student Center and connected to the RSC Mini-Gym, the new building will include a multipurpose area for team practices, an athletic conditioning space, batting and pitching cages for baseball and softball, hitting nets and a putting green for golf, and a weight room for athletes.

The athletic practice and training facility will relieve the demands placed on the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center’s four-court area, which currently serves athletes, students and Orange City community members.

“One of the driving forces for this project was a consideration for the entire campus community,” says Dr. Earl Woudstra, assistant director of athletics and chair of the committee planning the facility. “It should open up time and space in the four-court area for things like free recreation use and intramurals.”

The new building will reduce or eliminate the necessity of very early-morning or late-night team practices caused by a lack of indoor training space. It will also address safety concerns created when teams are practicing in the same space being used simultaneously by the public.

Woudstra expects the athletic practice and training facility to serve all athletic teams by providing a dedicated space for strength training and conditioning. Its weight room for athletes—along with a new fitness center for students that is part of a remodeling project under way in the RSC Mini-Gym—will also free up badly needed space in the Bultman Center.

According to Jay Wielenga, vice president for advancement, the fundraising goal for the facility is $2 million.