Once a strong candidate for the wrecking ball, the Michael A. Carroll Track and Soccer Stadium at IUPUI will be around for years to come after receiving a face-lift and a downsizing, school officials said.
A $1.2 million project to replace the grass infield with an artificial all-season surface will be a major step in preserving the world-class facility in downtown Indianapolis, new improvement plans show.
The new plans for the stadium along New York Street are dramatically different than the ones in a campus master plan revealed less than three years ago.
In December 2008, the stadium and the Indianapolis Tennis Center were targeted for demolition. The tennis facility was demolished last year to make way for parking and an NCAA headquarters expansion.
IUPUI’s 20-year master plan called for the track stadium to give way initially to green space designed to help connect the campus to prime real estate along the White River. Later phases called for mixed-use development with stores, condos and other housing units overlooking the Indianapolis Zoo, the White River and downtown.
After the master plan went public, IUPUI officials added that the track—sans the stadium seating and press box—might stay as an amenity in the development. But those development plans, too, have been scrapped—for now.
“[IUPUI] had an outside firm come in [in 2008] to do that master plan, and I just don’t think they understood the significance of that facility,” said Greg Harger, who coaches an Indianapolis-based track and field team made up of Olympic hopefuls. “That facility has certainly served this community by hosting a number of major events, and it’s good to see it will be staying put.”
The infield project is set to start this fall and be complete by Thanksgiving, said Tom Morrison, Indiana University’s vice president of planning. After that, the stadium surrounding the track will be refurbished and downsized, though Morrison said no timetable has been set for that project, nor has the precise scope of the downsizing been determined.
The press box and main grandstand along the