Lakefront complex may be part of NU's plan

After more than one and a half years of research and deliberation, Northwestern's master plan for athletic facilities upgrades may be coming to fruition. Sources tell of a potential piece to the facilities plan.

Northwestern's master plan for facilities upgrades may be coming into place, and could be made official in the coming months.

Multiple sources tell that a $300 million lakefront, multi-sport athletic and recreational facility has been proposed and is pending the approval of the Northwestern board of trustees.

This proposed facility would house the Northwestern football program's offices in addition to some of NU's other sports. It would also contain a turf field for NU football practices and use by other programs.

The facility would be constructed on Northwestern's campus along the shores of Lake Michigan, built in the location of the Lakeside Field parking lot. The construction is expected to be completed by fall of 2014, should groundbreaking occur during the upcoming fall.

"We have to continue to invest in our football program, and that has a chance for a residual positive effect on the other 18 sports," Northwestern director of athletics Jim Phillips said at the May Big Ten meetings.

The plan was expected to be discussed during the June meeting of Northwestern's board of trustees. There has been no indication as to how the master plan also addresses the aging Ryan Field, Welsh-Ryan Arena and NU's other athletic facilities.

Chris Emma has covered recruiting, college athletics and professional baseball for FOX Sports Next since 2009. Emma covered the Nebraska Cornhuskers for Big Red Report, and currently covers the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs. He currently resides on Chicago's north side.
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