If you’ve noticed a bit more orange and white as you motor down South Calhoun Street these days, there’s good reason for it.
A brand-new facility is flashing up the venerable south-side thoroughfare, beaming the orange and white pride of Indiana Tech sports for all to see.
Having just moved into the complex about two months ago, the college’s new Warrior Park is officially open for business and already hosting several of the school’s sports programs, including softball, men’s and women’s wrestling, and men’s and women’s track and field teams, according to Tyler Stevenson, Indiana Tech Sports Information Director (SID).
“Downtown, we didn’t have our own softball stadium, we didn’t have our own outdoor track; but now we do,” Stevenson said. “And now, I don’t think there’s many Division I facilities that can compare to ours.”
Because the school’s downtown campus, located at 1600 E. Washington Blvd., (which opened in 1930) didn’t have dedicated areas for those sports, he explained, the teams often would have to borrow Fort Wayne Community Schools facilities for their matches, such as the outdoor tracks at Northrop.
Work on crafting the new complex has been in the hopper for about the last four or five years, according to Indiana Tech Men’s and Women’s Tennis Coach Brock Orlowski. Land for the site was bought in 2018 from the Donald Ross Golf Course. The back nine of the course was used as the site for the new park, while the front nine holes remain open.
Part of the reason for the expansion is a hope that Tech eventually could host a national competition in one of the school’s sports in Fort Wayne, according to Orlowski.
“If we can host a national (competition) here,” he said, “it brings a lot of money to Fort Wayne, it brings a lot of attention to Fort Wayne, and it brings a lot of focus to Fort Wayne.”
Work on the facility, located at 7102 S. Calhoun Street, was completed over the summer, and the school moved into the site in late June and early July, Stevenson said.
New features of the sports complex include:
A new softball stadium. The collegiate-competition level facility is lighted, and has 350 seats. It also features an artificial-turf infield and outfield, as well as batting cages and a digital videoboard, and a heated and air-conditioned press box.
An outdoor track-and-field area. The 400-meter, eight-lane track has a natural grass infield to host field events, such as discus, javelin, shot put, and the hammer throw. In addition, there is bleacher seating for 350 people, and field event space outside of the track.
The brand-new Warrior Athletic Multi-Purpose Building. This 25,000-square-foot facility hosts space for several sports, including a wrestling practice room; athletic training treatment and training rooms; four locker rooms; two team-meeting rooms; two commercial-grade laundry facilities; an equipment and storage room; and offices for the athletic training staff. The building will be home to several sports programs, including cross-country, tennis, track and field, and men’s’ and women’s’ wrestling.
In fact, the school’s women’s wrestling program is the only one like it in the state of Indiana, said Stevenson, who’s in his fifth season as SID for Tech.
Stevenson said the new site not only will help keep Tech sports on the forefront, but also attract local recruits to play for the school.
“Our teams that have had a lot of success in the past will now have the new facilities they need to stay competitive,” Stevenson said. “And the kids from Fort Wayne who want that state-of-the-art college experience will want to stay here. It’s that next level of competition and winning, and now we’re equipped to do that,”
Stevenson stressed that the new park helps advertise the long-time local school, as well as helping to promote the south side of Fort Wayne.
“It’s just good to get the Indiana Tech’s name out there,” Stevenson said. “It allows us to build relationships, and it makes us a good community partner.”