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Governors OK $30 million plan

Apr. 29, 2011 @ 12:23 AM

HUNTINGTON -- An indoor practice facility is one step closer to reality for Marshall University sports teams.

The Marshall Board of Governors approved plans Thursday for a more than $30 million project that includes an indoor practice facility with an indoor track, an academic center, a sports medicine translational research center and a soccer stadium complex.

"This is a historic day for Marshall University athletics," athletic director Mike Hamrick said in a news release. "We are excited about each of these new facilities and are looking forward to having them in place in the near future. This project will have an enormous impact on every one of our athletics teams and every student-athlete. This is only the first step in addressing our overall facility needs.

"I want to thank the Board of Governors and our president, Stephen J. Kopp, for their support and vision. Without them this project would not be possible."

The project will be funded by bonds and private gifts, and is part of a larger bond issue that includes academic facilities on the campus.

The first phase of the project involves $5.4 million that will be used to demolish the Veterans Memorial Field House and construct a soccer stadium complex on that site and include a veteran's memorial park.

The Greater Huntington Park and Recreation District Board voted unanimously to turn the land over to Marshall athletics at no cost. The Field House had fallen into disrepair and was becoming a financial burden on the parks department.

Construction of an indoor practice facility with a full competition track, artificial playing surface and an athletics Hall of Fame at a cost of $14 million will be adjacent to Joan C. Edwards Stadium on the site of Sam Hood Field. A $3.5 million academic support center and a $7.5 million Sports Medicine Translational Research Center will be included at the site.

The first phase of the project is expected to begin in February 2012.

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