For the first time since the late 1950s, the Adrian College football team soon will be playing home games on its own campus turf.
College officials yesterday announced a major overhaul of athletic offerings at the private school, with leaders planning to spend $6.5 million to construct a multisport performance stadium and a track at the college.
The stadium will seat at least 2,500 and include end-zone student seating, among other amenities. It will replace a facility off campus that the college shares with Adrian High School.
The planned eight-lane track similarly will provide an on-campus presence for runners.
They have been practicing and holding meets elsewhere because the college s track is filled with cracks and grass.
I ve thought about going a fifth year just to run track and cross-county, said senior Ken Funk, 21, after he finished a practice yesterday. As far as excitement goes, spirits are high.
The additions, both of which are scheduled for completion next fall, are being eyed as a way to attract more students and athletes to campus in future years.
They re expected to be a boost to the current student body, as the announcement and others like it on campus recently have created a lightning rod of energy at Adrian, said football Coach Jim Lyall.
I think it will tell all the student athletes that their contribution to Adrian College is valued, highly valued these state-of-the-art facilities are for you, the coach said.
In addition to the construction projects, college leaders are planning to add three new varsity sports field hockey and men s and women s lacrosse during the 2007-2008 academic year.
They also intend to form a marching band and hire a director, an effort that started this fall with a recently formed alumni band. Its members played during homecoming festivities.
It s the first time I d heard our fight song, Mr. Lyall said.
Adrian s new president, Jeffrey Docking, had said that he planned to make changes on campus for students.
He began his term on July 1.
According to leaders, Mr. Docking has initiated two phases for Adrian College. The first will focus on athletic facilities, residence halls, and extracurricular activities. The second is geared toward academics.
Last week the college opened a new fitness room, which was designed with female students in mind.
The cost of that project cost was estimated at $120,000.
College development leaders plan to raise funds to pay for the multi-million-dollar athletics project, with naming rights available for the stadium and track.
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