barbellAfter nearly five years of planning and fundraising with Missouri Southern State University Athletics supporters, MSSU will soon begin the first phase of construction on a new athletic support facility.

Also known as the “End Zone Facility,” design plans for the building call for locker rooms, coaches’ offices, and training and weight rooms. More than $4 million has been raised for the facility. These funds have been designated specifically for this project.

Construction is expected to begin in January 2014.

A much-needed addition to the growing Robert W. Plaster Sports Complex, the new facility will be located on the north end of Fred G. Hughes Stadium.

“We’re very excited about the progress our Athletics supporters have helped us make on this project,” said MSSU Interim President Alan Marble. “To be in the planning phase of making this End Zone Facility a reality is a great step forward in improving our Athletics offerings.”

MSSU officials are working with architects on a design for the two-story facility, which is projected to cost approximately $8 million. Although the majority of funding has been secured for the first phase of the project, fundraising efforts will continue this fall to give more donors an opportunity to be part of the project. Phase 1 is expected to be complete in time for the Fall 2014 football season.

“The momentum of this project is positive news for anyone associated with Missouri Southern and the athletics department,” said Jared Bruggeman, director of Athletics at MSSU. “It is a worthy investment, and it reflects the commitment that our supporters, the Joplin community and this university have shown for our student-athletes.”