Recreation and Athletic Outdoor Complex opens October 2014

By Jackson Gilbert

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New students arriving on campus at Oakland University this week will have to navigate the countless orange barrels and construction fences clogging Oakland University’s campus.

Fear not, most of the projects will be done sooner than later. Most noteworthy are the:

  • new clock tower
  • engineering building
  • new parking deck
  • Oak View residence hall
  • 7.8 million dollar new athletic complex atop the upper fields

The athletic facility will feature eight outdoor tennis courts, a track and turf field, and several additional recreational multipurpose fields.

Originally, the project was scheduled for completion by Oct. 1 and Greg Jordan, the director of Campus Recreation at OU, says the facility will likely be on time — barring any power outages.

There will be a schedule of activities including varsity sport practices and club sports competitions, but all students will be allowed full usage when the fields and courts become available.

Jordan said the new track complex will have bleacher seating for approximately 600 people for the 400-meter track.

“Additional seating on the berm surrounding the complex will be allowed for competitions,” he said.

The official name of the facility is the “Recreation and Athletic Outdoor Complex” (RAOC) and will no longer be referred to as the upper fields.

Jordan emphasized that students need to stay out of the facility until the construction is officially complete.

He said that even though it may be tempting for students to try to sneak through the fences to get a peak of the field, this should be avoided so the track isn’t damaged.

“The new track needs at least a month to set before it can be used or we risk long term damage to the brand new facility,” he said.

In the coming weeks, the lights will be going up surrounding the field, making for a more visible facility.

Also being completed this fall is the new 29,000 square foot Athletic Dome on the lower fields. The new dome will accommodate both OU student-athletes and visiting athletes from the community. Its size assures that there will be fewer scheduling conflicts.