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June 15, 2017
MARYVILLE, Mo. – Work toward the largest public-partnership in Northwest Missouri State University's 112-year history officially began Thursday morning as project donors, university officials and Maryville city officials broke ground on the Hughes Family Center.
The groundbreaking marked the first steps toward the new 137,250 square-foot multipurpose complex on the southwest side of the Northwest campus.
The $20 million project provides the Northwest athletic department with a state-of-the-art facility. Along with a 100-yard turf practice field, it will also house a 300-meter indoor competition track. Northwest will be just the third NCAA Division II institution with an indoor track that size. It will also provide a practice space for soccer, football, softball, baseball, golf and tennis. The Bearcat Marching Band will also make use of the complex as the weather gets colder in the fall and winter months.
"It's going to be great for every sport for recruiting," Northwest Missouri State athletic director Mel Tjeerdsma said. "It's a showcase. Even as we stand here, unless you've been in a few of these (indoor facilities) you can't imagine the expanse, how big it really is."
More than just a space for athletics, it will be a community asset housing trade shows, graduations, community fundraising and business gatherings. It will also be open to students and Maryville residents to take advantage of the track or field when events and practices aren't scheduled.
"It's a phenomenal day for the community of Maryville to help Northwest put themselves in a position of strength," Maryville City Manager Greg McDanel said, "and to continue to enhance this community moving forward with tourism and economic development in addition to the improvement of the quality of life for students, faculty, community members. The Hughes Family Center is really going to be something special for us."
The Hughes Family Center receives its name from the Carl and Cheryl Hughes family, who committed a significant gift to the project from the Hughes Family Foundation.
The target grand opening for the Hughes Family Center is set for the summer of 2018.