Feb. 16, 2013
By Jack Bogaczyk
HUNTINGTON – The rising of a splendid Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex down Fifth Avenue from campus won’t be the only construction in the coming months by Marshall Athletics.
Work on four new skybox-level suites at Joan C. Edwards Stadium “will really take off” in the next few weeks, said Scott Morehouse, MU’s Associate Athletic Director for Facilities and Game Operations.
The $3 million project will add four 24-seat suites to the top level of the stadium pressbox – two at each end. Those 2,000-square foot suites already are rented by four unannounced donors at $60,000 annually, under five-year contracts (through the 2017 season).
A third elevator in the pressbox tower – it will fit between the two existing elevators -- is another addition.
“We’re stepping up and moving forward in the stadium, just as we are on the various projects that are being funded by the ongoing Vision Campaign,” Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick. “These suites are just another way we are enhancing the game-day experience for our supporters.
“We continue to make needed additions, renovations and upgrades in our facilities. Work is ongoing at the soccer stadium site, and we’re going to break ground on the indoor practice facility this spring.
“It’s an exciting time for us with all of the construction here at the university, and athletics is a big part of that.”
The new 96 seats will take the Edwards Stadium seating capacity to 38,115.
Those traveling past the stadium in coming weeks will notice the suite construction, especially once a crane is placed in the west parking lot to lift steel and other materials to the roof.
“They’ve started some of the plumbing work and work on electrical items already,” Morehouse said. “We have confirmations on structural steel placement and in the next two weeks they’ll be removing the outdoor air conditioning units at those ends of the pressbox. Then you’ll start to see some of the framing of the suites.
“Everything is still on time, on target, under contract for completion by the end of August.”
Coach Doc Holliday’s Herd opens the 2013 season at home on Aug. 31 against longtime rival Miami of Ohio, the first of six home dates in the season.
Each of the 24-seat suites will have a fire marshal-approved capacity of about 50. And each of the suite renters may choose to subdivide their suite into two 12-seat boxes, if they so choose.
The new suites also will have operable windows, a change from others in the stadium. Meanwhile, each of the existing boxes on the SD level will get heating and air conditioning installed, and men’s and women’s restroom facilities will be added to the level.
Morehouse said there also will be upgrades to all existing boxes, including painting and new flooring. The SD elevator lobby level also will receive enhancements including new flooring and graphics.
“The structural steel will go up by the end of March,” Morehouse said. “The elevator ship date is March 1, so it won’t be long after that when that goes in.
“In the next month or so, things will really take off.”
# # #
Morehouse also provided an update on the $6.5 million soccer complex, a 1,000-seat stadium under construction at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 26th Street.
“They have the footers poured, and the foundation block is down,” the Herd facilities chief said. “They’re, right now, pouring the concrete pads. There are a couple of those poured for the men’s and women’s coaches offices, and next week they’ll pour the pads for the men’s and women’s team locker rooms.
“Once those are complete, then the walls will start going up, and then the roof will go and things will take off from there.”
Morehouse said the grading for the field area is scheduled for the next couple of weeks, along with plumbing and piping for drainage.
“Then we’ll have the final prep for the installation of the synthetic grass. Things are progressing nicely, the way we expected.”