Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project


Snowbarger Athletic Park

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Institution Name: Olivet Nazarene University
Original/Historic Place Name: Snowbarger Athletic Park
Location on Campus: east 30 acres of campus, University Ave. and Stadium Dr.
Date(s) of Construction and Designer(s):
1977original construction
1986addition of "Warming House" log cabin Unknown
Type of Place: Landscape site
Type of landscape–
Large-scale features:
Playing fields, tennis courts, ice rink.
Other characteristics:
Flat land, until the 1960s most of which was tilled as farmland for corn or soybean production; playing fields accented by trees and shrubs, enhanced by sod.
ca. 1977-present (2007)outdoor space (playing fields, practice fields, tennis courts, ice rink, site of Chicago Bears NFL training camp)
ca. 1986-present (2007)other (log cabin used for student and communicty events, locker rooms)

Significance: landscape
Landmark designation:
Narrative: see below
References: see below

Recreation and competitive athletics are considered an important part of the university experience for our students. This 30-acre section at the east end of the campus brings all of these facilities together in a highly styled and coordinated manner.

Snowbarger Athletic Park includes fields for football, baseball, softball, soccer, and track and field. The park includes Ward Field and Stadium for football, Watson Baseball Field, ten tennis courts, two softball fields, two soccer fields, and four football practice fields. A log cabin "Warming House" (1986) is used for student and community events throughout the year, and an ice rink is located adjacent to the Warming House. Locker room facilities have recently been expanded near the center of the park.

The fields and related structures have been under continual improvement over the last 30 years. The selection of Olivet's facilities for the summer training camp of the Chicago Bears professional football team for the 2002 and 2003 seasons brought additional funds for major improvements, including new sod for most playing and practice fields and facilities to accommodate thousands of guests during the camps. More than 20,000 people attended the first camp in 2002. The improved facilities enhance the recreational and athletic opportunities for Olivet students, faculty, staff, and alumni throughout the year.

Snowbarger Athletic Park was named in 1981 to honor Dr. Willis E. Snowbarger, professor of history from 1949-1986 and academic dean and vice president of the school from 1952-1986.

I. Bibliographic sources:

None specified.

II. Location of other data:
University: Library, Special Collections, Facilities Management Office

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Last update: November 2006