Austin Sports Complex receives $250,000 matching grant

Austin Sports ComplexMore than $1.3 million has been raised for project to benefit university, community

George Fox University received confirmation in October of a $250,000 matching grant designated for the Austin Sports Complex, a multi-use sports facility to be shared by the university, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District, Newberg High School, local club teams and the community.

The grant, from an anonymous Newberg family, will match dollar for dollar raised – up to $250,000 – toward the new sports complex. The university will use the gift to seek individual gifts and pledges not to exceed $25,000 each and must meet the match by July 1, 2010.

The gift to the campaign has resulted in more than $1.3 million raised to date toward the project’s $6.5 million goal.

“We are thrilled with this generous opportunity to match gifts from donors,” said Gordon Crisman, who took over as chairman of the university’s board of trustees in October, replacing five-year chairperson Barbara Palmer. “This will allow us to start work on the athletic fields next spring.”

Once completed, the Austin Sports Complex will include a multi-use synthetic turf field, a synthetic turf soccer field, an athletic center building, three grass fields, and a walking/jogging path.

Phase I of the project was launched on July 9, 2009, with the announcement of a $1.2 million lead gift from Brad and Katharine Stoffer and their Boedecker Foundation. The first phase calls for the development of 11 of the 24 acres of land through construction of the synthetic turf soccer field, the multi-use synthetic turf field, and the athletic center building.

George Fox is partnering with CPRD to develop the remaining 13 acres in phase II of the project, which will include the installation of the three grass fields.

The complex is being developed on 24 acres of land donated to the university by Newberg philanthropists Ken and Joan Austin. The property is located north of the George Fox campus, on the corner of Crestview and Villa roads in Newberg.

University President Robin Baker said the institution hopes to start construction on the first of two turf fields in March 2010, enabling soccer to be played on the new field as early as next fall.

The $250,000 match represents the second significant gift received for the campaign. “The anonymous couple is excited to know that the Sports Complex will benefit the entire community and hopes their gift will attract a broad base of support from the community,” said Shari Scales, the university’s vice president of advancement.

More information on the Austin Sports Complex is available online.