Intramural complex construction begins soon
Charleston Southern University students and employees will soon see and hear construction behind Buc Park in the coming days. The long-awaited intramural complex was originally planned for a groundbreaking last summer, with trees in and around Buc Park already marked for removal in early 2020. However, the pandemic and birds—yes, birds—put construction on hold for more than a year.
A colony of wood storks, likely on the property for more than two decades, nest in the area from February through September. CSU officials, in coordination with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, watched for the endangered bird species to migrate before restarting the project.
The intramural complex, with artificial turf and outdoor lighting, will offer a quality experience for Buccaneers eager to play in the evenings after class. “We’re very excited about being able to provide this for our students,” Drew Meadows, assistant dean for student life, said, as he explained the addition of new seasonal sports like soccer, softball and ultimate frisbee as well as nighttime play on the field.
The complex will also offer football, a band viewing tower for marching band rehearsals, and two new hard-surface basketball courts.
“This will be the crown jewel at CSU for at least the next decade,” said Clark Carter, vice president for student life and dean of students.
The $1.8 million project was placed at one of the highest priorities per the 2020-2025 University Strategic Plan, along with other Student Life projects certain to boost student satisfaction with the on-campus experience such as the Student Center renovations.
Makayla Anderson, a first year graduate student in the athletic training program, shared her excitement about this project with a look back to her time as an undergrad.
“It was an inconvenience to move our games due to weather and not having lights in the front field. Now we’re having to play our games on Sunday afternoons because of classes being during the day during the week, and we also have to have light to play outdoor sports. Pushing back to evening times has been difficult,” she admitted.
In her role as graduate assistant for Campus Recreation, Anderson runs the scheduling for intramural sports and said it is a struggle with outdoor daytime participation. “[Students] want to play in the evenings. We get more with indoor sports because we have lights in the gym,” she said. “It’s going to be a huge benefit to have a field with lights and have a place where students can play pretty much anything.”
CSU’s SGA President Luke Maybin, a senior political science major, said the intramural complex project shows a massive amount of progress for Charleston Southern. “It’s one of the biggest expenses that CSU has taken on in a long time for the students. I think it means growth; I think it means progress; and I think it’s just going to be all around a great addition to the university.”
Bucs can expect to play at the new complex as early as late spring 2022.