West Liberty University broke ground earlier this week on its newest campus improvement, the Belmont Savings Bank Indoor Practice Facility.
Led by President Stephen Greiner and Belmont Savings Bank President and CEO Todd Cover, the ceremony took place at the future site of the facility, located adjacent to the current softball field, near Beta Hall. Ground preparation has already taken place for the 14,400-square-foot, vinyl-covered steel frame facility.
“I’m so thankful that Belmont Savings Bank took the step last fall to lead with a generous gift of $200,000, allowing us to move forward and begin the process of making this much-needed athletic facility a reality. Now the real work begins as we prepare the site and build the structure,” said Greiner.
“This new facility will greatly enhance all student life since it will free up Blatnik Hall and other recreational space currently being used by our baseball and softball teams during their off-seasons. As a result, West Liberty University will finally have a dedicated student recreation space for intramurals and non-athlete student space,” he added.
“Belmont Savings Bank is pleased to partner with West Liberty University and assist in this improvement that is sure to benefit countless athletes and students in the years to come,” said Cover, who is a former WLU athlete and alumnus.
The building is being manufactured and installed by ClearSpan, a leading fabric structure corporation headquartered in Connecticut.
“In collaboration with the university and a passionate team of alumni volunteers, the WLU Foundation has raised nearly $400,000 to help with the construction of the new indoor practice facility,” according to Angela Zambito-Hill, executive director of the foundation.
“The WLU Foundation is pleased to be involved in this important university project that will add even more value to a West Liberty University education. I thank Belmont Savings Bank and all the other donors who have stepped forward to fund the new building,” Zambito-Hill said.
Measuring 120 by 120 feet, the insulated structure will include a turf field. The entire project is expected to be complete by October.
“This is a real game-changer for athletics since it gives our outdoor sports a chance to practice during inclement weather and I believe we are the first school in the MEC to have an indoor practice facility. We are very grateful to everyone working to make this project a reality,” Athletic Director Lynn Ullom said.
The next step in the project is removing some of the parking lot surface near Beta Hall to further prepare the site. The building itself is expected to arrive in September, according to Ullom.
All athletic teams will have a chance to use the new indoor space to train in all seasons, Ullom said.
A charter member of the NCAA Division II Mountain East Conference, WLU has nearly 500 student-athletes competing across 18 intercollegiate sports. These include men’s football, cross country, basketball, wrestling, track, tennis, baseball, golf and soccer along with women’s acrobatics and tumbling, softball, volleyball, cross country, basketball, track, tennis, golf and soccer.
West Liberty University offers nearly 70 undergraduate majors and 30 programs and a growing number of graduate programs.
For more information on the new indoor practice facility or to donate to the project, call the WLU Foundation at 304.336-5635.