Millikin athletics need your treasury to help them raise the remainder of the $2 million required for a new stand-alone locker room building north of the Frank M. Lindsay bleachers.
The badly-needed addition will provide locker room facilities for the Big Blue’s football and men’s and women’s track and field teams.
Those three sports represent the largest Big Blue athletics programs with more than 100 student-athletes participating in each of them.
The new building will relieve the locker room congestion in Griswold Center where members of 23 sports vy for locker space. The new baseball and softball state-of-the-art facilities have relieved some of the locker room congestion.
The anticipated opening is for the fall of 2022. They hope to break ground sometime this fall for the new structure.
It will fill an immediate need for lockers for football, men’s and women’s track and field teams.
It will provide field-level access for home teams.
It will alleviate congestion in Griswold Center’s locker rooms for the Big Blue’s other sports.
The facility will give Millikin the ability to host College Conference and Illinois-Wisconsin and NCAA champions.
On Monday night Aug. 30, Lori Kerans was a guest on Kevin Breheny’s SC Buzz on FirstMid Monday.
That’s where she addressed Millikin’s need for this addition catching this sports editor by surprise when she informed the Big Blue now plays 23 sports today compared to only six earlier.
She also spoke about Millikin’s legacy celebration of women’s athletics that will take place May 13-15, 2022. Her protege and leader of Big Blue women’s athletics was the late Harriett Crannell.
Football, basketball and baseball were Millikin’s first three sports in 1903. It added men’s track in 1906, men’s tennis in 1915 and men’s cross-country in 1958. That’s the first six sports.
Here are the others and the year in which they started competing—
1959 Men’s Wrestling; the wrestling program paused in ’06 and returned in 2015; 1967 Conference renamed to CCIW (to include Carthage which moved from Illinois to Wisconsin; as well as Carroll College which joined CCI in 1955);
1970 Women’s Basketball; 1970 Men’s Swimming; 1973 Men’s Golf; 1975 Women’s Volleyball; 1975 Women’s Tennis; 1976 Women’s Track and Field;
1981 NCAA began to recognize Women’s Athletics; 1981 Women’s Swimming; 1982 Women’s Softball; 1982 Women’s Cross Country; 1986 CCIW began to recognize Women’s Athletics;
1986 Men’s Soccer; 1996 Women’s Golf;
1996 Women’s Soccer; 2001 Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track; 2018 Women’s Triathlon; and 2020 Men’s Volleyball.
That alone explains why Millikin needs this locker room addition at Lindsay Field.
Athletics Director Dr. Craig White said they are getting close to reaching the $2 million goal without giving a specific number where they are now.
He also said the plans continue to change and the finished product may not be what it appears today.
White said locker rooms will be there for sure but it remains to be seen what the inside looks like as far as if there will be coaches offices and athletic training facilities.
This will go north of the bleachers where the small parking lot is located right now.
I will have more on this developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.