Rumors began circulating on Georgetown sports Internet talk boards late last week that construction had already begun on the new multi-sport facility planned to replace Harbin Field.

Turns out it was just a couple of Stewards burying some evidence.

The rumors piqued my curiosity, however, so I went hunting for more information on the project. Like every construction project the university undertakes, there’s both good and bad news.

The good news is that there is a virtual tour of the proposed facility online. The bad news is that it looks like nothing more than glorified grandstands – an upscale edition of what we’ve got now. The good news is that there’s already a price list of items up for sale – a good indicator of progress. The corresponding bad news is that the last proposed athletic facility was the new boathouse. The timeline they once proposed had that completed by the spring of my sophomore year; here I am a junior, and construction on the thing hasn’t even started yet.

But behold, there is hope yet for the multi-sport facility: it doesn’t look like Yates.

And there is always the off-hand chance that construction will begin on time, even if the timeline does put completion of these overblown bleachers somewhere in the 20-year range.

The Big House this ain’t. And with a price tag for naming the complex established at a measly $5 million, Hoya sports fans had better hope they’re getting a lot of bang for their buck. On the other hand, someone – an as-of-yet unnamed benefactor – has already put out the cash to cover that part of the project.

Fear not, Hoyas. There are still plenty of other parts of these bleachers-with-bathrooms that need names and sponsors. For instance, you could smack down a million dollars and have a scoreboard named after you; or you and a couple of your floormates could shell out $29.99 apiece for shovels and go remove the old scoreboard from Lot T.

The athletic department had to raise the price for naming some of the women’s locker rooms. Apparently some of the male teams were starting a collection. Their original idea called for buying the locker rooms and the photographer’s box and combining them into one room.

Frankly, looking at the list, my mind was absolutely boggled by the number of rooms that are going into this project. The drawings certainly don’t seem to show space for a dozen offices for football assistant coaches, much less half a dozen locker rooms, various other coach’s offices, bathrooms, concourses and concession stands.

Perhaps some of the best purchasing opportunities (and most beneficial to some of our teams) are the game officials themselves. They were bought by a fan willing to pay $50,000. If I had known that was the selling price of refs these days I would have agitated for Georgetown to buy them years ago. Let’s just hope the sponsor is a Georgetown fan.

Apparently there is a movement to get certain parts of the men’s bathroom named after a certain men’s basketball team coach. I’m not going to touch that one.

When it’s all said and done, the complex is slated to come in at a grand total of $22.5 million. It’s a great thing to have a complex that consolidates some of our major field sports, but the truth is, the facility is toeing the line bordering on superfluous. We’ve already got a football field in the center of campus. Improving that team certainly trumps improving the facilities on which they lose. After a year and a half of construction on top of Yates Field House, Kehoe Field is nearly ready for reopening. The soccer and field hockey teams have gotten along fine these past seasons in the current facilities, and it’s obvious that neither lacrosse team has been hurt by its current grasslands.

The proposed multi-sport facility does not address the real problems: we have a men’s basketball team that plays in Chinatown and a baseball field-shaped parking lot. Football, lacrosse, soccer – these teams already have homes on campus, while the baseball team practices and plays home games in Bethesda. While it will create a spot for the university’s successful track and field teams, admittedly an important move, it will not bring home either basketball or baseball – two teams that need homes on campus.

The university has instead chosen redundancy over progress. Why not make minor changes to the current facilities? Kehoe’s turf field has been resurfaced recently and new bleachers were just erected around Harbin Field. For now, these will suffice for our teams.

The proposed multi-sport facility marks a bold step toward improving Georgetown’s athletic facilities.

Unfortunately, it’s the wrong one.

Derek Richmond can be reached at . THE W appears every Tuesday.

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