OBERLIN — Oberlin College’s 90-year-old Savage Stadium, described as “old and outdated,” will be replaced with a new state-of-the-art athletic complex next year, thanks to an $8 million gift from the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation.
It will be named the Austin E. Knowlton Athletics Complex in honor of the late Ohio businessman who created the foundation through his estate to support colleges and universities throughout the Midwest, according to a news release.
Natalie Winkelfoos, Delta Lodge director of athletics and physical education, called Savage Stadium “outdated.”
The all-weather design will include artificial turf and lights, a state-of-the-art press box, new grandstands for home and visiting spectators, a new support facility with home and visitor locker rooms and innovative meeting and social spaces available to the campus community, according to the release. The total cost of the facility has not been determined.
It could be used by athletic teams and club sports on campus, such as the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams, and for campus events.
Winkelfoos said the new complex could be a useful recruiting tool for athletics.
“I think that our coaches do a very good job right now … but it always helps to have nice facilities to showcase. This will only help us in attracting the best and the brightest,” she said.
Winkelfoos said the goal is to have the construction completed by the fall of next year. A groundbreaking ceremony will be 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Savage Stadium, preceding the Oberlin College vs. Hiram College football game.
“We’re beyond excited about it,” Winkelfoos said. “This is only going to magnify the greatness of Oberlin College.”