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MU breaks ground on indoor practice facility on April 26

Mar. 27, 2013 @ 12:37 AM

HUNTINGTON -- As Marshall players and coaches took the field Tuesday for spring football practice, there has never been more need for an indoor practice facility.

In fact, it even came up in Marshall's post-practice talk with head coach Doc Holliday.

"I'd rather have the sunshine out there, but it is what it is," Holliday said. "Until (Marshall athletic director) Mike (Hamrick) gets that indoor facility built -- this time next year, hopefully if it happens, we're inside -- but it was all good today."

Since Hamrick announced the Vision Campaign in 2011, plans have been in place to raise money for facilities upgrades.

However, there had never been an answer as to when the construction would begin. That is, until Tuesday.

Hamrick announced through a news release during Tuesday's practice that groundbreaking on the Indoor Practice Facility, Hall of Fame, Academic Support Center and Sports Medicine Translational Research Center will take place on April 26, one day before the Green-White scrimmage.

The Vision Campaign is a $30 million facilities capital campaign spearheaded by former Marshall basketball player and current Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni and former Thundering Herd and NFL quarterback Chad Pennington.

Construction is already underway on an $8 million state-of-the-art soccer complex being built in the old Veterans Memorial Field House location.

Now, the time is drawing near for the Indoor Practice Facility as well.

"It will certainly be a landmark event for our athletic program and one Herd fans have been anxiously waiting for a long time," Hamrick said in the release.

In an open letter to Big Green Scholarship Foundation members, Hamrick acknowledged that the groundbreaking was sped up recently by an anonymous $5 million gift from a Marshall alum, which brought total contributions to more than $15 million.

The fundraising goal associated with the Vision Campaign was $20 million, meaning Marshall is 75 percent to its goal.

"This generous contribution not only draws us closer to meeting our goal, but also epitomizes the determination of our Marshall family to provide the very best resources to our student-athletes and coaches," Hamrick said.

While the Herd is steadily reaching its goal in terms of fundraising, Hamrick noted that just more than 10 percent (327 of 3,039) of Big Green members are contributors to the Vision campaign.

"If you have not yet joined us, I hope you will consider being a part in making history in Marshall athletics," Hamrick said.

Hamrick also said the soccer complex is on track for its grand opening Aug. 23.

-- Grant Traylor



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