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MU board approves stadium upgrades

Oct. 31, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Renovations at Joan C. Edwards Stadium were approved by the Marshall University Board of Governors Tuesday morning and will begin when the current football season is over.

The $2.3 million worth of work includes four new suites that already have five-year lease agreements at $60,000 a year, new Sky Deck restrooms and a third elevator. It also includes upgrades to the two existing elevators, roof repairs and a new heating and air conditioning system.

Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said the project is being entirely funded by athletics, mostly through the facility fee that is tacked on all football and men's basketball tickets. He said the university currently has $800,000 on hand, while the Big Green has secured a $1 million loan to be paid over five years. Another $500,000 is being advanced from the institution, which also will be paid back.

The project is expected to be completed for the start of the 2013 football season. The additional suites, which will hold about 50 people each, will bring the total to 24.

Hamrick said the new suites will generate new revenue once the loans and university advance are repaid.

Officials with the university said the project actually will save money by taking $400,000 worth of stadium renovations for the roof and elevators off the deferred maintenance list. That frees up those funds for other projects.

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