Athletic training facility progressing
By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN
HUNTINGTON – It’s hard to miss the massive new structure going up just east of Joan C. Edwards Stadium. It’s a new athletic training facility with adjoining sports medicine/academic center for Marshall University’s student-athletes, and it’s a game-changer, Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said.
“This facility is long overdue and will be a program-changer, not just for the athletic program but for the entire community,” Hamrick said.
The most striking part of the new project is going up now, steel beams for a facility that will house a 120-yard football field, six-lane track and other facilities for Marshall’s track, baseball, softball and other programs to practice. The 105,000-square-foot building also will seat about 1,000 people and can be used for track meets, indoor soccer and other events, Hamrick said.
Adjoining it will be a 35,000-square-foot, two-story building that will house the Marshall Athletics Hall of Fame, as well as an academic center with 120 computers for Marshall’s 375 student-athletes, and a Sports Medicine Translational Research Center, said Associate Athletic Director Scott Morehouse. The new facility will allow Marshall to bolster its sports medicine program, allowing it to expand space for doctors and physical therapists and provide Marshall athletes what could be among the best medical care in the country, Morehouse said.
Last week, workers were working on the steel frame and pouring the floor for the larger facility. The steel for the smaller building is expected to arrive in November, and Marshall is aiming for August 2014 as a completion date for the entire project, said Ron May, director of facilities and planning at Marshall.
The buildings are located at 22nd Street, between 3rd and 5th avenues, where practice and soccer fields used to be. The $25 million project brings Marshall’s new athletic construction to $34 million this year, including the new soccer stadium and facilities at the former site of the Veterans Memorial Field House on 5th Avenue, Hamrick said. All the funds were raised from private donations and ticket sales, he said.
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