University of Minnesota donors, staff and crew from Mortenson Company and its subcontractors gathered inside the skeletal frame of the new Indoor Practice Facility, one of three new structures that are part of the University's Athletes Village project, to witness the placing of the final structural steel beam into the Athletes Village on Friday morning.
"Today marks the latest milestone in this critical project to build the development facilities out students need to compete at the highest levels, in the classroom, in competition, and in life after graduation," Coyle told the crowd. "This project is transformational for our University and our athletics department in so many ways. On the day these facilities open next winter, our students and coaches will go from working in some of the worst development facilities in the Big Ten to some of the best."
The event's 400-plus attendees had the opportunity to sign the beam as they entered, leaving a lasting mark on the metal before it was placed in the northeast corner of the new practice facility. Inside the steel frame, guests enjoyed a brief social followed by remarks from Coyle, student-athletes Jordan Murphy and Sophie Skarzynski, a representative from Mortenson, and the Nothing Short of Greatness fundraising campaign chairman, Lou Nanne.
"We've made good progress with fundraising. We are over $100 million for the campaign and that's great, but we still need to raise more to reach our goal" said Nanne. "We have a community full of leaders who can make a difference for Gopher student-athletes, for the University and for the state of Minnesota by supporting this project. The time is now for those leaders to make that difference."
Following the speaking program, the final beam was hoisted into the air by crane and carefully guided into position. Its placing is the latest milestone in the project to modernize development facilities Gopher student-athletes use every day.
The Athletes Village, which consists of the Land O'Lakes Center for Excellence, the Charlie and Kathy Cunningham Basketball Development Center, the Larson Family Football Performance Center, and the Indoor Practice Facility, is scheduled to open this coming January.
As construction continues, so does fundraising as the Nothing Short of Greatness fundraising campaign pursues a goal of $190 million to fully fund the Athletes Village and other needed facilities projects through private contributions.
For more information about the facilities campaign, visit NothingShortOfGreatness.com. For more Athletes Village video content, including tours of the facilities as they're being built, check out the Athletes Village playlist on the Gopher Sports YouTube channel.
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