TWIN FALLS — The College of Southern Idaho has finalized a plan to build a multipurpose field on campus, increasing the possibility of adding men’s and women’s soccer programs.
About a month ago, CSI administrators signed off on an agreement to add a grass field on the northwest side of campus, CSI athletic director Joel Bate told the Times-News. The school plans to complete construction this fall, which is when it hopes to reach a decision on a soccer future.
“If we’re gonna have a soccer program, we obviously have to have a place to play, and we wanted to have our own place to play on campus,” Bate said. “We’re planting this area just in case we’re able to move forward.”
The location for the new multipurpose field is on the corner of Washington Street North and North College Road. The site is next to CSI’s tennis courts and across the street from CSI’s softball stadium, First Federal Field.
The plot of land was a hay field until CSI decided to build the multipurpose field. Now, it’s nothing but dirt. The CSI maintenance department is preparing to add a sprinkler system to the new field, and it reported its progress to the CSI board of trustees on Tuesday.
Bate stressed the multipurpose aspect of the field because CSI’s goal is to host more than just Golden Eagle soccer games. The school plans to use the field for high school soccer games, youth soccer tournaments, physical education classes and other events, even if it does not add soccer programs in the end.
By the time the multipurpose field is complete this fall, CSI will know if soccer is on the way. Bate said a decision will need to be reached by November in order for the Golden Eagles to add the sport for the 2018-2019 season.
“We’ve been discussing this within the conference for two, three years to see if this was even viable,” Bate said. “Just making sure the infrastructure is in place.”
CSI is the only school in the Scenic West Athletic Conference that doesn’t have a soccer program. Every other team in the conference has added men’s and women’s soccer soccer teams in recent years.
CSI is one of several SWAC schools without a “core” sport (basketball, soccer, volleyball, baseball/softball). Snow College is the only school in the conference with a football program, but it doesn’t field a baseball team. Utah State Eastern doesn’t play volleyball, and the College of Southern Nevada doesn’t have men’s or women’s basketball.
“We’re trying to get the four core sports groups within the league,” Bate said.
The lack of an on-campus field and a stable funding source prevented the Golden Eagles from adding soccer last year, Bate said. Financial uncertainty might prevent, or at least delay, the addition going forward.
But Bate was confident that college soccer will grace Twin Falls in the next three years. In a few months, it will have the field to do so.