The Fiscal Affairs and Administrative Policy Committee of the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education has provided preliminary approval for $5.7 million in funds to finance two upcoming projects at Framingham State University. The projects include a $1.8 million parking lot expansion on the campus and $3.9 million for a new softball field and renovations to athletic fields. Changes to existing facilities will include a re-turfing of the school’s football field, new stands and restrooms, and a new handicapped-accessible press box. Dale Hamel, the university’s vice president of administration and finance, said that shovels could hit the ground on both projects this spring, with the intention of completing them in time for the school year next fall. The projects will be financed through existing student fees for parking and athletics, which Hamel said will not increase for students as a result of the project. Hamel also noted that the building of a new women’s softball field comes in part to head off any Title IX concerns regarding gender inequality within the university’s athletic program.