ISU board to vote on $11.5 million indoor athletics training facility

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NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A new athletics facility could be coming to Illinois State University.

The school is looking to spend nearly $11.5 million on an indoor training facility for its student-athletes. And Saturday morning, the board of trustees will vote on the matter.

The facility will be an inflatable dome according to the board agenda and will be used primarily as a practice facility for the Redbirds football, baseball/softball, and soccer teams when the weather is too bad to practice outside.

It will feature a 100-yard football field, made with the same artificial turf that is used on the field surface at Hancock Stadium.

According to the Director of Media relations Eric Jome, ISU athletics has been raising money for the project since 2010 and has been a goal to complete it since. Right now, he said the department has secured just under $7 million in funds.

Jome said in order for construction to start, the department will have to raise about $1 million more, pending trustee approval.

He said it’s a mix of private donations and university funds being used.

“They’ve got a certain amount of money already in hand and the stipulation on this is if it’s approved by the board, then once athletics reaches the 70% of that funding in hand, then they would be able to begin construction,” Jome said.

70% is around $8.05 million of the $11.5 million price tag.

Jome said the athletics department is looking to secure more private donations for the project. Anything else not covered by private donations, ISU would look to borrow.

The board of trustees meets Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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