A rendering of Spalding University’s athletic complex. The school will break ground on the project April 12. | Courtesy of Spalding University

Spalding University will break ground Friday, April 12, on a 7.4-acre athletic complex with multiple fields.

The new complex will include a pair of soccer fields and a softball field that will be fully lit for night-time events. The soccer fields are expected to be ready by mid-2019, while the softball field should be ready by spring 2020.

The $5.5 million project has been in the planning stages for more than three years and originally was expected to break ground last year, but additional fundraising was needed. The complex will be built on former vacant lots on South Ninth Street.

The turf fields will be available for other schools and clubs to rent. In addition, the fields could be used in the future for lacrosse and field hockey events.

“This groundbreaking is a historic moment for Spalding as we officially begin construction on a facility that will be, literally, a game-changer for our student-athletes and the entire area around Ninth Street,” Spalding president Tori McClure said in a news release. “We thank everyone who has supported us in the pursuit of this dream. This project will make a major positive impact on our university and our community.”

McClure will break ground during a ceremony on Friday at 2 p.m., along with Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Athletic Director Roger Burkman, along with Spalding coaches and athletes.

Schaefer Construction is the general contractor for the project, which will be in the Limerick neighborhood.

Insider Louisville previously reported that the project is part of a $30 million capital campaign that is the largest the school has ever undertaken. It also includes campus beautification, a renovated library, $6 million in scholarship funds and the creation of a restorative justice program.

The new complex is just three blocks from the Spalding campus.