Ground broken for Wayne State College’s Athletic and Recreation Facility Renovation, Addition Project


Wayne State College, in collaboration with RDG Planning and Design and Hausmann Construction, proudly announces that ground was broken Sept. 15 for the Athletic and Recreation Facility Renovation and Addition project.

The $30-million project is a multi-phased construction project designed to have a significant impact on Wayne State and the region it serves. The project will include a new air-supported structure with an indoor track and turf field and renovations to Rice Auditorium and the Recreation Center.

“This project has been several years in the making, and we couldn’t have done it without the financial support of numerous donors,” said Dr. Marysz Rames, president of Wayne State. “Their vision and generosity have been the catalyst that has helped this project become a reality for Wayne State College and the surrounding region.”

Additionally, the athletic project's facility upgrades will be beneficial for all Wayne State students for years to come. The Wayne State Foundation has begun raising funds toward the $5.5 million of fundraised dollars needed to complete the project.

“This transformational, facility construction and renovation project will be incredibly impactful on Wayne State College's intercollegiate athletics, recreation, and student-wide wellness programs,” said Mike Powicki, athletic director at Wayne State. “These are historic improvements which are vital in our ability to continue to recruit and retain phenomenal students by providing an exceptional overall student engagement experience.”

“Several years ago, we realized that we had simply ran out of room,” added Powicki. “After all of our searching, consulting, and conducting a feasibility study, we’ll have an aesthetically pleasing, multi-purpose facility that will be the envy of many institutions in Nebraska.”

An overview of the project

Air-Supported Structure and Auxiliary Link (addition) – A new 97,000-square-foot air-supported structure with a 300-meter synthetic track, two pole vault boxes, two jumping pits, and two throw circles with safety cages.

Wildcat Alley (addition) – A new 17,000-square-foot addition filling in unoccupied, open-air alley space between the Recreation Center and Rice Auditorium.

Recreation Center (renovation) – The current 58,000-square-foot Recreation Center was constructed in 1987. The planned renovations will include a new synthetic flooring system, which will increase the number of courts from three to four; the 160-meter track will be converted into a two- or three-lane walking/jogging track adding cardio space, group exercise rooms with equipment, and a netting system. The racquetball courts will be converted into general student locker rooms with lockers, showers, and restrooms. The second level will be converted into additional offices and/or classroom space.

Rice Auditorium (renovation) – Rice Auditorium is a 58,000-square-foot facility constructed in 1958 that houses the gymnasium/auditorium, wood basketball/volleyball court, classrooms, offices, and various physical education support areas. Renovations to this area will include building new men’s and women’s restrooms, creating a larger concessions area, and expanding ticketing areas to enhance the fan experience.

To learn more about the project, visit

For more information, contact Mike Powicki, athletic director at Wayne State, 402-375-7520 or