New intramural complex to begin construction this fall
Students at Charleston Southern University will enjoy intramural sports on new turf soon. After the prior intramural field was replaced with the new residence hall in 2019, students moved games to the large grassy lot at the front of campus. The new field, with artificial turf and outdoor lighting, will begin construction in October behind Buc Park.
Per the 2020-2025 University Strategic Plan, high priority was placed on Student Life projects to ensure student satisfaction with their on-campus experience. This included major Student Center renovations, such as the new student lounge and Buc Stop grill, as well as a new intramural complex.
With the intramural field project originally planned for a groundbreaking last summer, trees in and around Buc Park were marked for removal in early 2020. However, the pandemic and an endangered bird species put construction on hold.
Luke Blackmon, vice president for business affairs, said that CSU has been in constant coordination with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources as well as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. According to SCDNR, a colony of wood storks may have been first established more than 20 years ago near and around the site for the current field. The colony nests from February through September.
“We are committed to protect this endangered bird as well as mindfully expand our campus to give our students memorable experiences,” Blackmon said. He added that the wood storks are expected to migrate in early fall, so construction can begin soon after the birds leave the nest.
In anticipation of the new space, Campus Recreation added new seasonal sports to the list of intramural opportunities, including soccer, softball and ultimate frisbee. The field will also have football, a band viewing tower so band rehearsals can be held on the field and two new lighted basketball courts.
“This new field is a gamechanger for our students,” said Drew Meadows, assistant dean for student life. “We are excited to offer students a topnotch facility to play intramural sports. The lighted complex will increase time opportunities on the field, which I think will heavily boost participation from our Bucs.”
The intramural field complex is expected to be completed in late spring/early summer of 2022.