Urbana University’s new sports complex part of multi-million dollar investment

Urbana University is building a new multi purpose athletic facility that will be home for arcro & tumbling, wrestling and men’s volleyball. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

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Urbana University is building a new multi purpose athletic facility that will be home for arcro & tumbling, wrestling and men’s volleyball. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

Urbana University hopes to finish a new athletic facility by the end of July, just in time for students to celebrate the grand opening when they come back to campus in August.

Christopher Washington, who serves as the executive vice president at Urbana University, said the 10,000 square-foot building is one of the cornerstone projects being built as the university tries to revamp itself.

“We will have locker rooms, performance spaces, vending areas that can support football games and soccer games,” he said.

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The new space will also be home to two of three new sports teams Urbana University is set to introduce. The school will have a tumbling team, a men’s volleyball team and is set to bring back a men’s wrestling squad, Washington said.

“The new sports facility will enable us to hold practices and athletic events for our new sports teams so we are really excited about it,” Washington said.

The new building is being constructed now and is part of the university’s goal to distinguish itself, Washington said.

“We invested a lot in the learning spaces, technology, academic programs and new sports teams,” he said. “We are really excited that this new sports facility is one of the cornerstone projects of these investments. We have new programs in environmental science, health science, cyber-security, information systems that I think are very relevant to the local business and manufacturing sector.”

The sports facility is also exciting alumni, Washington said, who have worked together to honor longtime Urbana University wrestling coach and administrator Lester Baum.

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“A number of our alums have rallied together to raise dollars to name the wrestling portion of the space after Mr. Baum who was a very successful coach,” Washington said.

Urbana has updated existing sports complexes recently as well, Washington said. Last fall, Urbana hosted its first night football game after installing lights at the field.

The game had the largest crowd in school history and the university will host three night games this year, he said.

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