Alex Berg || Staff writer
In March, workers of Pinnacle Construction Inc. began construction on the CFSB Center’s new basketball practice facility which aims to enhance the basketball program’s already successful team.
Allen Ward, athletics director, said the facility was much needed and had been earned due to the men’s basketball team’s success during last season.
“If we want to take our basketball program and build on the success of last season, this facility is necessary” he said.
The facility will serve as an asset to men’s and women’s basketball training. It will also be the location of the coaches new office suites.
Assuming progress continues at its current pace, the facility is estimated to be finished by January 1.
Ward said funding for the facility came from the Community Financial Services Bank a couple years ago when it purchased naming rights for the building. The rest of the $4 million needed for the facility came from fundraising, he said.
Ward said the primary purpose of CFSB’s contribution was to enhance the basketball program, he said the practice facility will offer the team a great facility to use year-round, regardless of any events.
Once University officials had the approval from the Board of Regents and President Randy Dunn, Ward said he and many individuals decided to move forward with construction.
The CFSB Center hosts a variety of events throughout the year and the private facility will give the men’s and women’s basketball programs the opportunity to practice whenever they may need.
Don Robertson, vice president of Student Affairs, said having a dedicated facility would be beneficial to the team. He said recruits are looking for a school that has a dedicated program as well as a private facility.
The center hosts a large number of events, he said it hinders the ability of the teams to practice.
“With the new facility, the teams will be able to have more practices and it will make the team even better,” Robertson said.
“Having our own facility is important at the level we want to compete at,” Robertson said. “The team last semester created such a spirit on campus, my hope is that the same happens this fall with the football team.”
He said he wants to see the same feeling of school spirit to last through the fall into the spring and said it was his belief the football team this year will succeed like last years basketball team.
“The spirit our success brings is great for our past students, our current students and our future students,” he said.
Ward agreed with Robertson and said Racer basketball is something the entire campus and community get behind each year.
Said Ward: “Making sure that our basketball program stays at a high level is something I believe helps all of Murray and tells the community and nation what Murray State is all about.”