The University of the Ozarks on Wednesday announced a $10.75 million project to overhaul its baseball, softball and soccer complex.
The project will replace the sports fields with turf and will include new lighting and bleachers, as well as new locker room, press box and bathroom facilities. Construction is set to begin in October.
Mammoth Sports Construction LLC of Meriden, Kansas, will build the complex, which is expected to take about a year to complete, the private liberal arts college in Clarksville said in a news release. The softball and baseball fields are expected to be completed by February, in time for both programs to play on the fields for the spring 2024 seasons.
The soccer field will be ready for the men’s and women’s programs to play on in fall of 2024, when the Division III university leaves the American Southwest Conference to compete in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Funding comes from a $6.2 million gift from Thomas D. Wilson of Tulsa, Oklahoma, and his wife. The new softball and baseball complex will be named in honor of the Wilsons. The new baseball field will continue to be named Lonnie R. Qualls Field in honor of the late, longtime Ozarks baseball coach and alumnus.
The university said it will raise funds to cover the rest of the project's cost.
“Student-athletes are an integral part of not only our campus community, but of the overall college experience at Ozarks,” Richard Dunsworth, president of the university, said in the release. “The Wilsons’ amazing support, along with that of many others, is a caring affirmation of what these young women and men mean to the University.”
The new sports complex represents the second phase of a university plan to upgrade all its varsity and intramural athletics facilities.
"We are always proud to host our fellow competitors, but it will be especially exciting to have them on our campus next season and beyond," Athletic Director Jimmy Clark said. "We feel like our new conference affiliation combined with the new complex will enhance the lives of our student-athletes."