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Friday, October 9th, 2009 - 10:04 am

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Athletic program expansion taking shape; plan spurred by 7.6-acre land gift


Robert Bunnell, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Health, Recreation & Sports/Athletic Director

Peregrine Sports

By ROBERT D. BUNNELL

Asst. Vice Chancellor of Health, Recreation & Sports/Athletic Director

Another season of Purdue Calumet men’s and women’s basketball is here. Less than a year from now, however, we will be able to report on the activities of four new Peregrines, varsity athletic teams: men’s and women’s tennis, men’s golf and women’s volleyball.

The four sports are the first of 10 to be added to the Purdue Calumet athletic program over the next five years, as lynchpins of a 10-year, long-range growth plan for Purdue Calumet athletics, approved by the university’s Senior Leadership Team.


4 sports teams to debut next year

The overall expansion plan also calls for the addition of men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s soccer, and men’s baseball and women’s softball teams, increasing the number of varsity programs to 12. The addition of the teams will be sequenced as follows:

  • 2010-11 Men’s & Women’s Tennis, Men’s Golf, Women’s Volleyball
  • 2011-12 Men’s & Women’s Cross Country
  • 2012-13 Men’s & Women’s Soccer
  • 2013-14 Men’s Baseball & Women’s Softball

The growth of intercollegiate athletics is in response to a Purdue Calumet 2008-14 Strategic Plan goal to develop a vibrant campus community. The addition of these sports will attract 175-190 student-athletes to campus, and provide an additional 180-200 competitive spectator opportunities for the campus and community.

Complementing the growth of the athletic program has been this fall’s opening of University Village II student housing complex. Together, these initiatives are expected to transform the student experience at Purdue University Calumet into a more traditional and complete collegiate experience.


Pellar Park gift vital to plan

A key development in enabling our athletic expansion plan to move forward came in the form of a 7.6-acre gift of land in Hammond’s Hessville neighborhood, less than 1½ miles from campus. The land was donated by area residents and Purdue Calumet supporters Richard Pellar and his sister, Joliane (Pellar) Boudart, owners and operators of Crown Corr Corp., a national metal enclosure contractor. The Pellars provided the land, now called Pellar Park, for the express purpose of development of competitive athletic venues for our burgeoning athletics program.

Purdue Calumet is considering a master planning effort for the development of athletics facilities, both at Pellar Park and on the Purdue Calumet campus. Facilities needed to support the growth of athletics include competitive venues for soccer, softball, tennis, baseball and softball, as well as coaches’ offices, locker facilities for student-athletes and storage space for equipment.