Sydney Brummel — Staff Writer
For the past several months, Dordt University community members and Sioux Center residents have discussed the possibility of an indoor sports complex. Recently, the Sioux Center City Council officially approved the construction of a sports dome facility in the current location of Heritage Village and the fairgrounds.
This decision was made after nearly two and a half years of discussion, planning, and touring of other dome facilities. The project has especially been overseen by Sioux Center’s Joint Use Committee, comprised of Dordt University, the Sioux Center Community School District, and the city of Sioux Center.
In order to make space for the sports facility, both the fairgrounds and Heritage Village require relocation. The Sioux County Fairgrounds will move next to the Dordt Agriculture Stewardship Center north of town, as already planned. Heritage Village will transfer over to Tower Fields, an approximate five-acre site on the west side of Sioux Center.
An estimated seven million-dollar project of about 100,000 square feet, the planned indoor turf facility will be paid for and used by Dordt and the rest of the Sioux Center community.
“The city of Sioux Center is going to be the owner of this,” Ross Douma, the university director of athletics said. “Dordt University is going to be the manager of the facility.”
Although the City Council’s decision has caused deep disappointment, especially with regards to the fate of Heritage Village and its tree grove, the addition of a sports dome to the town of Sioux Center promises multiple enormous benefits for all involved parties.
“It’s going to positively impact Defender Athletics,” Douma said. “It’s also going to impact the campus community as a whole.”
The facility will provide ample space for several Dordt sports teams, such as men’s and women’s soccer, baseball, softball, and football. With this indoor space, teams will be able to practice year-round, particularly in the winter months. The Athletics Department also expects the facility to strengthen recruiting efforts.
“The Defender Way is our holistic and unique way of administering athletics Christianly at Dordt,” Douma said. “The thing that really excites me most about the indoor turf facility is that we get to really impress the Defender way on a much greater and broader population…We see this facility as a way to really be somewhat of a mission field for athletics as a whole.”
The sports facility also promises to free up significant space in the Rec Center, which has, especially in recent years, been consistently filled by athletics, other students, and Sioux Center residents. With a less crowded Rec Center, there will be more opportunities for a stronger intramural program.
Moreover, the sports facility will be shared with and utilized by the Sioux Center community.
“Sioux Center Community [School] and Sioux Center Christian will be able to do things from a Physical Education curriculum standpoint that they weren’t able to do in years past.” Douma said.
Community soccer teams and youth athletic teams will be able to perform on the indoor turf. However, the City Council and Joint Use Committee members anticipate the facility to be used in non-athletic events as well, such as birthday parties, corporate events, church functions, and youth camps. With its proximal location to the university, collaborative use, and versatile purpose, the sports dome complex is expected to enhance Dordt’s visibility and increase Sioux Center’s economy.
“This facility is going to have far-reaching impact on our community, and I’m really excited to see where Sioux Center is going to be in five to ten years as a result of the genesis of the development of the indoor turf facility,” Douma said.
As of now, there are no definite dates for the construction of the facility to begin, as the process ultimately depends on when Heritage Village will relocate to its new home at Tower Fields. The City Council tentatively anticipates the dome’s development to take place in the summer of 2022 and completed for use by fall of 2022 or winter of 2023.