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Eric Peterson, Published April 11 2013

Cobbers' locker room marks final phase for 'Update the Jake'

Moorhead - The Concordia football team uses a varsity locker room that was built in 1966 and has around 70 lockers – for a program that dresses more than 100 players for home games.

Those tight quarters will soon be a thing of the past. The school plans to break ground on a new $2.9 million locker room later this spring.

“It’s just something we needed for our program,” said Concordia athletic director Rich Glas.

“Our existing locker room just can’t hold us anymore,” added Concordia head football coach Terry Horan.

The locker room is the third and final phase of the Jake Christiansen Athletic Complex update.

Installing artificial turf on the football and baseball fields, paving parking lots and tearing down and re-locating storage sheds were part of the first two phases.

The total project cost is expected to be $5.6 million when completed. The new locker room will be built on the east side of the plaza between the football stadium and baseball field.

“I’m going to be so pleased to be able to take the tour of the building when it’s finally complete,” said Larry Papenfuss, who is Director of the Concordia Annual Fund and External Relations.

Papenfuss was the athletic director at the start of what the school calls the “Update The Jake” facility upgrade.

Ground-breaking for the first phase of the project was in May 2010. The final phase is expected to break ground this upcoming May, said Papenfuss.

The final phase is expected to take about nine months to complete. The new locker room (which is about 10,000 square feet) will likely be completed near the end of the calendar year.

“It will certainly put us on par with the top (Division III) stadiums in the country,” Horan said.

Papenfuss said the school will continue to raise money for the project to cover any cost increases that may occur.

“It’s something that will endure for years to come,” Papenfuss said.

Football and women’s soccer will be the primary tenants in the new locker room. There will be about 140 lockers in the football locker room and 40 lockers in the women’s soccer room. The building will also contain offices for coaches, a laundry and equipment area, a training area and a “Hall of Legends” area inside the main entrance.

“We will display some of the memorabilia of our long-standing coaches, NFL players and championship teams,” Papenfuss said.

Men’s soccer will use the current locker room located just east of the football field. Concordia’s spring sports will also use both the current and new locker room facilities.

The new locker room should be ready for use by the spring of 2014.

“From a recruiting standpoint, you want to have nice facilities that people see that this is where my home is going to be for four years,” Glas said. “This will be a nice home.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com