Construction on schedule for new Northern State athletics complex

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 6:35 PM CDT
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ABERDEEN, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The dry weather northeastern South Dakota has seen the past couple of months has helped construction crews at Northern State prepare for winter work on the university’s latest project.

Even though the complex is far from finished, Northern State President Dr. Tim Downs says the university’s new football and softball stadiums are already making an impact on the donors, visitors, and residents of Aberdeen coming to see the ongoing project.

“When they come see it, they’re just amazed. And it’s even better than any of us could’ve anticipated.” Downs says.

The $55 million Educational Impact Campaign included the construction of new athletics fields, a new home for the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and now a new athletics complex. The project also adds on to the existing Barnett Center, adding new locker rooms, storage space, and an event center. And Downs says the project is still on track despite the current snowy weather, thanks in part to the recent dry months.

“The summer, was not a lot of rain. So that actually helped the project. I know other wanted more rain, but it has helped the construction business. This project is actually on time and they may even be just a little bit ahead of schedule.”

Downs hopes the new complex will become more than just a Northern State facility, but rather a regional hub for prep sports and activities.

“When you look at a facility like this, obviously the football team will play five or six Saturdays in the fall. We also want high school teams to come play here on Friday nights, or to even have playoff games here.”

The construction project is on schedule to be completed before Northern State’s 2021 football home opener, on September 11th.

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