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Plans Revealed for New Indoor Track Facility
Liberty University will be adding a new, state-of-the-art indoor track & field facility for its NCAA Division I program, one that will feature a hydraulically banked 200-meter track oval. Work is scheduled to begin this fall, and it is expected to open in Fall 2016.
"We are very blessed to be able to add this beautiful indoor track facility to our campus," said Jeff Barber, director of athletics. "It will be one of the best indoor tracks in the country, and we believe it will prove to be a huge benefit to our already highly successful track program."
"We in Liberty track & field are extremely excited to anticipate the future with this outstanding new facility," stated Liberty Track & Field Head Coach Brant Tolsma. "Jeff Barber often speaks about our sports at Liberty moving into the Top 25 in the nation and this new facility, along with our beautiful outdoor track, will immediately take us there from a facility perspective."
The new 130,000-square-foot facility will be located below the LU monogram on Liberty Mountain, off of Candlers Mountain Road. It will feature a 6-lane hydraulically banked (curves can be raised or lowered for different events) 200-meter track, accommodations for field events, locker rooms, weight and training rooms, coaches' offices, concessions, and seating for 1,500 spectators.
Liberty's new facility will join a small group of hydraulically banked tracks in the United States, including Penn State, Texas A&M, the Birmingham CrossPlex and the Armory in New York City, among others. The next three NCAA Division I Indoor Track & Field Championships will be contested on 200-meter hydraulic banked tracks, including 2016 in Birmingham and 2017 and 2018 at Texas A&M.
"The state of the art hydraulic banks will be computer operated so that the amount of banking will be adjusted between races with more bank for shorter and faster races," Tolsma explained. "It will be about the 15th such track in America. The end result is an opportunity for faster times, a factor which will help draw more high-level athletes and teams to competitions at Liberty University. We are also confident that this facility will have a very positive effect on recruiting and I believe we will see Liberty become the college of choice for many of the most elite Christian track & field athletes in the U.S. and around the world."
The new facility will replace the team's current facility, the Tolsma Indoor Track Center located in Marie F. Green Hall. The Tolsma Indoor Track Center has served as the home of Liberty indoor track & field since opening in 2005.
Barber noted that the university's decision to build this center demonstrates to prospective athletes that Liberty is committed to the success of its track & field program.
"It will be a facility that will draw the best track athletes in the country," Barber said. "It will also be a tremendous place for our fans to come and watch us compete."
"We anticipate that the facility will used to host meets at all levels, from age group through high school, college, championships and even professional," added Tolsma. "Such meets will not only have a wonderful positive effect on track & field in the local area and state but will also have a huge economic impact in Lynchburg. We are grateful to all who have a part in this tremendous blessing for Liberty track & field."
The building is being designed and constructed by Lynchburg-based Glass & Associates.