MSU’s New Turf Complex Will Add to the Variety of Services Offered by Recreational Sports and Fitness Services

March 31, 2022

With the Service Road Turf Complex underway, Recreational Sports and Fitness Services (RSFS) in Student Life & Engagement (SLE) is making strides to improve the fitness facilities offered to MSU students. RSFS’s goal is to provide improved facilities and programs that will benefit the health of the Spartan community. These new facilities are necessary for the greater good of the community and will better meet the health needs of Spartans.  

RSFS has been operating three main facilities for many years. Between IM Sports Circle, IM Sports East and IM Sports West, they offer two pools, two fitness centers, eight basketball courts, an indoor turf field and racquet ball courts. With about 4,000 daily users and over 11,000 students benefitting from these facilities in club and intramural sports, in addition to faculty and staff using the facilities, it was time to create more space to accommodate Spartans. The first step in the growth of MSU’s recreational and fitness facilities is to build the new turf complex. 

On Feb. 25, ground was broken for the future of recreation and wellness at MSU. With the groundbreaking, construction began on the new Turf Complex on Service Road that will ultimately benefit the health of Spartans for years to come. 

The problem with the fields on campus is the majority of them are grass. According to Director of Recreational Sports and Fitness Services Rick McNeil, “The majority of the fields are in good condition at the beginning of the fall semester, but towards November the fields are non-playable.” Not only are the fields non-playable in November, but due to the snow and rain, it’s almost impossible to play on these fields again until May. By that time, intramural and club sports are nearly finished, and most students are leaving East Lansing for the summer. The calendar isn’t conducive to the quality of the playing surfaces. With the addition of the new Turf Complex, Spartans will have access to playable fields for nine months out of the year.

Not only will the fields allow for optimal playing conditions year-round, there will also be support structures, shelter and restrooms, allowing for athletes to take shelter from the elements as well as eliminating travel to another building to use the restroom. These features allow for more quality fields and convenient amenities for Spartan athletes.  

According to McNeil, “Most colleges and universities across the country do not have a turf complex all on one site. However, the University of Wisconsin has a complex comparable to what MSU is currently installing.” One thing MSU offers in addition to the turf fields are the shelter areas, which will be convenient for Spartans to use during inclement weather.  

In order to repay for the debt borrowed by Michigan State, students have been assessed a rec fee. The board of trustees approved a fee of $100 per year per student. This fee will increase to $180 in the second year and cap out at $260 in the third year. This fee is also paying for a new recreation center that has just begun planning and design.   

All in all, “This fee is paying for a permanent fitness complex that will enable the calendar to be conducive to the quality of playing surfaces,” said McNeil.  

You can track the progress of the turf complex at RSFS' Rebuilding U webpage and check out the RSFS website for more information.

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