The Times West Virginian

Local News

February 5, 2010

WVU’s academic, athletic momentum celebrated at groundbreaking

MORGANTOWN — The theme of the day was “From Newton to Naismith: Celebrating Academic and Athletic Momentum” and it was momentous day for West Virginia University.

The crème de la crème had gathered at the Erickson Alumni Center at Statler Wilson Commons for a virtual groundbreaking that would benefit both the school’s physics department, which was getting a $33 million facelift for White Hall, and the men’s and women’s nationally ranked basketball programs, which were getting their long-awaiting practice facility at a cost of $19 million.

According to men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins, who was in attendance as was Mike Carey, the women’s coach, although the sign that reserved the seat he was to take was made out to “Bruce Carey,” this will be the nation’s premier practice facility.

“When others say we are going to build a practice facility, they’ll be told ‘Go look at West Virginia’s because they have the best.”

The basketball facility will have separate gym areas for the men’s and women’s teams, a weight training center, athletic training room and an equipment room for both teams; a theater-style meeting place, players’ lounge and locker room for each program, offices and a conference room for the coaches and their staff, a media area and a Basketball Hall of Traditions to showcase the proud WVU history.

Construction begins in the spring and it is expected to be completed in May 2011.

The two projects will cost approximately $50 million raised from private donors, which is an accomplishment in the current economic environment.

“In probably the worst economic times to raise that kind of money is unbelievable,” said Huggins, who thought back to something he was told by a football coach during his days as a basketball player at West Virginia.

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