When the estimated $9 million fieldhouse opens at Fred G. Hughes Stadium at the Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex in the summer of 2015, it will be the culmination of nearly a decade of planning.
An event to detail the plans and progress for the fieldhouse was held Thursday morning at the stadium, with campus officials, donors and local media in attendance.
The project was developed following two substantial seven-figure gifts pledged to the Missouri Southern Foundation by the Robert W. Plaster Foundation. Announced in 2011, the gifts represented the largest contribution ever made to the Foundation and were to be used to fund the construction of a baseball field and a multi-purpose athletic facility adjacent to the football field, as well as renovations to the stadium.
Crews from R.E. Smith began construction earlier this year. Located at the north endzone, the facility will house locker rooms for multiple sports, an athletic training room, meeting rooms, an athletics Hall of Fame, an alumni event center and offices for coaching staff.
Former State Sen. Gary Nodler talked about the process of moving the proposed construction through the legislator and the important role that athletics can play in bolstering the academic side of a university.
Dr. Dolly Clement, executive director of the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, said that her family is proud to have played a role not just in this new construction but the continued growth of the university.
“Go Lions!” she cheered.
Project donors Richard and Melanie Davidson presented a check for $108,798, to be used for furniture in the fieldhouse.
Head football coach Daryl Daye talked about the positive impact the building would have on recruiting student athletes and the university as a whole.
“The future is looking so bright,” he said. “I hope all of you feel the same way about it.”