After 64 years, Heidelberg University played its first football game on campus in 2009.
As part of the the university's Strategic Action Plan, the first project of Phase Three, the planned construction of the multi-purpose athletic stadium and alumni center, is in the initial fundraising stage.
In order for construction to begin, the amount of funds to be raised is $4.4 million by June 30. Once the funds are secure, construction may begin, to be completed by the fall.
Shown is a proposed architectural rendering for the athletic stadium and alumni center.
As of Monday, through gifts and pledges, about $1.7 million had been raised.
This is to be a tri-level facility built into the hillside on Greenfield Street. The infrastructure is to include an upper-level press box, plaza-level ticket windows, concessions and restrooms, track-level locker rooms and an indoor sports room for wrestling and baseball.
An elevator and handicapped seating and parking areas also is to be included.
Seating in the stands is to hold roughly 1,500, with the capability to add additional seating in the future.
The features of the alumni center, called Fox Den - after long-time successful football coach Paul Hoernemann, a 1938 Heidelberg alum - are to include a reception area, an exhibit gallery and a private viewing deck with access to reserved seating on the 50-yard line.
Exterior features would include covered plaza areas, ground and upper-level walking areas, sidewalks and paths.
"The president wanted to bring back football to campus. For over 60 years, we have shared a stadium with the community," executive director of development and planned giving Jim Minehart said. "We want to integrate athletics and education and (enhance) the academic campaign for excellence and the student experience."
This project has many benefits for the campus community and the Tiffin and Seneca County community as a whole. The community can come and experience "game day" events and activities held on the "game day field" and hold special events, meetings and even concerts. The students will be able to celebrate their team and have a space to use for freshmen orientation and commencement ceremonies.
According to a brochure provided by Heidelberg University, President Robert Huntington said, "The Athletic Stadium and Alumni Center will be an energizing gateway to invite new students, engage current students, and welcome back former students onto campus for exciting events and integrated educational experiences."