UMO Holds Ground Breaking Event for $2 Million Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex

UMO Holds Ground Breaking Event for
$2 Million Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex

MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive officially kicked off the construction of  Phase 1 of its new Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex with a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, March 1, at 2:30 p.m.  Approximately 200 faculty, staff, students, and community members gathered at the site of what will become the Ray McDonald, Sr. Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex, named for the longtime mayor.

Those speaking at the event were:  UMO Vice President of Athletics Jeff Eisen, UMO Chaplain Carla Williamson, Chairman of the UMO Board of Trustees Earl Worley; Treasurer of the UMO Foundation Board Bill Bryan, Senior VP and Area Executive of Southern Bank Greg Eloshway, UMO Head Men’s and Women’s Track and Field/Cross Country Coach Matt van Lierop, UMO Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete Natalie Brust, and President of UMO Dr. Philip P. Kerstetter.

“Today is an important day in the life of UMO, as we strive to ensure that our programs and facilities are of high quality and serve the mission of our University,” stated Worley.

 

On behalf of the Foundation Board Bryan said, “We are all aware of the importance of physical activity and wellness in enjoying a fulfilling life and career.  This facility will join the Pope Wellness Center in creating an improved quality of life on campus and beyond.”

In his speech Bryan also remembered the late chairman of the UMO Foundation, George Kornegay.  “George was a passionate advocate of this University,” Bryan said.  “This complex was the latest project he was enthusiastically promoting up to his last moments in our midst.  I’m sure he is proudly watching over us today. I’d also like to thank his good friend, Jimmy Williams, who returned to the University he previously served.  As our Foundation’s president, Jimmy has worked with determination to guide this project to today’s celebration.”

“The Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex will be a great boon to our athletics program,” said Eisen.  “Our track and lacrosse teams have had great success, and the addition of an on-campus track and artificial turf field will only enhance those teams.”

On behalf of all donors and on behalf of Southern Bank Eloshway said, “This new complex will have a significant economic impact on our region. It will increase the number of out of town guests to the Mount Olive area.  Our hotels, restaurants, and other service providers in this community will benefit.  The University of Mount Olive and Southern Bank have a shared legacy of service throughout Mount Olive, Wayne County, eastern North Carolina, and beyond. We are proud to be associated with the University of Mount Olive and to be a part of this very much anticipated project.”

Van Lierop, head coach of men’s and women’s cross-country and track and field, said, “The new Track & Field/Lacrosse Complex is going to be pivotal to our success in the future. For the first time in our program’s history, we will have a facility, which is essential to building a successful track and field program. It’s a good day to be a Trojan!”

President Kerstetter stated, “We all must realize that this new facility is being made possible because of the vision and dedicated work of so many, and the generosity of so many more.  We thank you all for your help in realizing this dream and we look forward to the fall when we expect to see this complex operational.  What an exciting time that will be!”

New Track and Field/Lacrosse Complex Facts:

·             Artificial surface field:

–               playing surface will be Astroturf 3D3 52, 86,400 square feet

–               field markings for men’s and women’s lacrosse; field can also be used by soccer, baseball, and softball

·             Track surface:

–               track surface will be Rekortan Spurtan BV, IAAF certified, 8,300 square yards

–               8 lanes, 400 meters, red surface color

·             Field events:  long jump, triple jump, pole vault, high jump, hammer, discus, shotput, javelin

·             Funding:  The project was funded through donations from a variety of businesses and individuals

Construction is set to begin immediately on the $2 million complex, which is set to be completed by fall of 2016, in time for the fall sports seasons.  Jimmy Hite of Hite Associates out of Greenville is the architect on the project, and Travis Credle with Advantage Sports Surfaces out of Morehead City is the contractor.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit old.umo.edu.

(L-R)  UMO Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jimmy Williams, UMO Board Chair Earl Worley, UMO Foundation Treasurer Bill Bryan, UMO Chaplain Carla Williamson, Senior VP and Area Executive of Southern Bank Greg Eloshway, UMO President Philip Kerstetter, UMO Women’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete Natalie Brust, UMO Head Men’s and Women’s Track and Field /Cross Country Coach Matt van Lierop, UMO Track Student-Athlete Alexis McNeil, UMO Track Student-Athlete Jon Dahlke, UMO Vice President of Athletics Jeff Eisen, UMO Women’s Lacrosse Coach Grant Kelam, UMO Men’s Lacrosse Coach Mike Murphy, UMO Men’s Lacrosse Student-Athlete Jesse Mitchell, and the UMO Trojan.

(L-R):  UMO Vice President of Athletics Jeff Eisen, UMO Foundation Treasurer Bill Bryan, UMO Vice President of Enrollment Barbara Kornegay, Senior VP and Area Executive of Southern Bank Greg Eloshway, Mount Olive Mayor Ray McDonald, Sr., UMO President Philip Kerstetter, and UMO Vice President for Advancement Jimmy Williams.