State of Illinois officially breaks ground on indoor training facility

NORMAL, Ill. – A large group of Illinois State supporters, students, staff and alumni gathered for an event that has been in the works for many years, as the State University of Illinois held the official groundbreaking ceremony for the indoor training facility on the grass training ground north of Horton Field House.

The event began with members of the Big Red Marching Machine playing the University’s fight song and the Illinois State cheering and dancing teams leading the celebrating crowd. Vice President for University Advancement, Pat Vickerman, then took the stage to welcome the crowd in attendance and serve as emcee during the event.

The crowd in attendance then heard comments from Illinois State University President Dr. Terri Goss Kinzy, Director of Athletics Kyle Brenan, board representative Dr. Bob Navarro ’91, MS ’93, Ph.D. ’02, major donors Dee Miller, Sheila Marshall-Miller ’93 and BJ Bello, and quarterback of the Illinois State Zack Annexstad. The event concluded with speakers being grounded in a ceremony complete with Redbird hard hats and gold shovels.

The Illinois State University Board of Trustees authorized the Athletic Department to design, tender, construct, and finance the indoor training facility during a special meeting held on campus on December 12, 2021.

The indoor training facility will be a heated, opaque, double-membrane fabric air dome with insulation pockets for intended year-round use. The facility will be built on the site of the current football training ground, directly north of Horton Field House. A 100m training football pitch will feature a single end zone with clearance zones and artificial turf to match the current surface at Hancock Stadium.

The facility will be open to all Redbird teams and, once construction is complete, will reduce congestion for ISU teams currently using Horton Field House as an indoor practice area. The goal is to complete in the spring of 2023.

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