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MU approves $1.9 million stadium upgrade

Dec. 14, 2012 @ 12:34 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Although bids came in higher than expected, Marshall University's Board of Governors gave its unanimous approval for upgrades at Joan C. Edwards Stadium.

The contract was awarded Thursday to E.P. Leach and Sons of Huntington for $1.964 million. That will pay for four new suites, restrooms and a new roof on the west side of the stadium. Athletic Director Mike Hamrick said four of the bids came within $100,000 of one another, and the low bid was about $600,000 more than anticipated.

But Hamrick said the additional cost means it will take eight years instead of five to repay a loan being secured by the Big Green Scholarship Foundation. All four suites, which will hold about 50 people each, are already under contract. Each has a five-year lease worth $60,000 a year. That $240,000 a year in revenue will be used to pay back to loan, he said.

The project also includes adding a third elevator and upgrading the existing two. Those were bid out as part of a state contract and will cost $639,000, Hamrick said. That will be paid for through a $500,000 advancement from the institution, which will be paid back using the $1 facility fee tacked on to each football and men's basketball ticket.

The project will help the university save money because roof and elevator renovations were on the deferred maintenance list to the tune of $400,000. Hamrick said those funds can be used for other needs.

Construction is expected start rather quickly, as the work must be done by the start of the 2013 football season.

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