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Mount Mercy University announces new athletics complex

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CEDAR RAPIDS For the past four years, outdoor sports at Mount Mercy University have used different locations to play games and practices.

That will be changing in the next couple of years.

Mount Mercy announced Friday a $15 million project for a new athletics complex that will provide a permanent home field for baseball, softball, track and field and soccer.

The complex will be constructed just south of the university's campus, formally known as Terex.

"We are really excited," said Mount Mercy athletics director Scott Reisinger. "This is the next step toward building a better athletics program for the university.

"We have had great student-athletes without any facilities and I am excited what the new facilities can bring to the future student-athletes."

The project will cover 22 acres and will be built in three phases. The first phase will be constructing the track and soccer field, the second phase will be building the baseball field and multipurpose practice fields and the last phase will be building the softball field.

"This is a big deal for us," said track coach Jaime Jimison about his program. "We have been practicing at local high schools, rented out warehouses and the ice arena. We have been all over the place just to practice.

"This also improves in recruiting incoming and transfer student by showing off the new facility we are going to have. I'm happy we'll have a place to call home."

Softball coach Larry Yoder is very excited for the athletics complex.

"In the seven years I have been coaching at Mount Mercy, we have used six different fields to practice and play games on," Yoder said. "With having our own field, it gives us a chance to host more home games, tournaments and possibly regionals. With that, we can put Mount Mercy on the map and show other schools whom we are."

Baseball coach Desi Druschel said with the new athletics complex gives his team a place to call "home."

"The biggest thing is the travel," he said. "With a facility being closer to campus, the players can now walk instead of trying to find rides and carpooling to practice.

"We can have our own locker room, which we never had. Not only that, it gives us an opportunity to start new traditions and build something not just as team, but for the school."

It took Mount Mercy four years to acquire the land. This is the second campus extension for Mount Mercy, following the Graduate Center.

"This takes us to a whole new level," said Mustangs senior soccer player Aaron Lacy. "The biggest thing for me is the school pride and building a community. Since its closer to campus, the new athletics complex will attract more people to come watch games."

The project will begin in the fall of 2013 and there are possibilities of starting new sports programs, such as football. But there will not be discussions about adding sports until the complex is completely built, which is set to be in 2017.

"Today is a great day to be a Mustang," Reisinger said.

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