Updated Mon, Feb 6, 2012 2:38 pm
Ohio University students and faculty may soon have a new place to enjoy athletics thanks to a generous gift from a pair of alumni.
Ohio Athletic Director Jim Schaus updated attendees on the project at Wednesday night’s Student Senate meeting.
“I’m very excited because I think that we’re getting close,” Schaus said. “This would have a tremendous impact on our entire campus.”
Schaus said the idea was first suggested in 2005, but it was put on hold because of the economic downturn.
However two years ago, OU alumni Bob and Peggy Walter gave the leading monetary gift that allowed the athletic department to move forward.
Schaus said they have raised $9.7 million, but fundraising will continue in order to provide for the building’s upkeep.
If the department is unable to raise the $11 million goal, the building will be slightly smaller.
According to Shaus, the multipurpose center will be ideal for sports team practices and classes.
“There will be many different student activities. I think it will be busy from 6 a.m. to midnight,” said Schaus, adding that dividers and storage areas are part of the blueprints.
He noted that the multipurpose center would function as a community recreation center, much like Ping Center or the OU Aquatic Center currently.
It could also serve as a second venue for high school sporting events or be rented out to community youth organizations and club sports teams.
“I think it would be a facility that would be heavily used by the entire campus,” Schaus said.
Schaus and the athletic department hope to start construction on the new multipurpose center by April 1.