Cushing Coliseum undergoing renovations, resurfacing


The 160-meter Cushing Coliseum track was last resurfaced 21 years ago. Photo by Shelby Berglund / Antelope Staff


Cushing Fieldhouse is undergoing renovations to improve the safety and reputation of the facility. The project consists of resurfacing the track with a softer material, new curtains, new basketball hoops and removing unused heating pipes for a more appealing look. 

 Because the space is used for Loper athletics and recreation, the upgrades will help a variety of current and future students. 

“The newer and fresher it looks, the more people are going to walk away with a good perspective on it,” said UNK track coach Brady Bonsall. “Anytime we host a high school meet, we’re exposing more potential students to UNK.”

The space is used for UNK indoor track practices when the weather outside is poor, or when indoor track is in season. The Lopers also host the UNK Pre-Holiday Classic, the Charlie Foster Classic and the Loper Tune-Up meets inside the facility. 

Cushing serves other purposes, said Jake Greco, UNK director of athletic facilities and event management.

“Cushing Fieldhouse is not just track specific or athletic specific area,” Greco said. “We use a lot of space for athletic training, exercise science, sports management, physical education and other programs.”  

Intramural competitions such as volleyball, basketball and badminton have been played inside of Cushing over the years. Andrew Winscot, assistant director of campus recreation, has also been involved in the renovation planning to improve the intramural experience.

“The track surface will be replaced, so obviously with that the striping will be new,” Winscot said. “That allowed us to have some say, especially with it being such a multi-purpose area.” 

Renovations to the surface have been in the works for many years. 

“The surface is over twenty years old,” Bonsall said. “It’s a very fast track, and it’s very firm. The flip side of that is it’s harder on your body training-wise. It’s only gotten to that point in the past five or six years.”

Bonsall noticed the track team complaining about the surface, especially in the past few seasons, and knew it was time for a change. Because the track is so fast, Loper runners used to prefer a workout in Cushing Fieldhouse over somewhere outside in the wind. 

UNK sprinter Kyla Carlson suffered an injury her freshman year on the old surface.

“I had a stress reaction in my foot which is a fracture in the bone caused by repetitive pounding on it,” Carlson said. “It was due to the texture and hardness of the current surface. It’s bad on your joints when you run so many circles around the track.”

The new surface will be softer, which will be more enjoyable for athletes and other students alike.