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Thursday, September 7, 2006

UNCP breaks ground on new Field House

Ground was broken for a $4.5 million Field House at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. When completed in spring 2007, it will be home to the University’s football program.

From left: Donor Wesley Campbell of Minuteman Food Marts, Head Coach Pete Shinnick, Lumbee Guaranty Bank President Larry Chavis, Aaron Thomas, president of Metcon Inc., general contractor for the project, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Pembroke Mayor and UNCP Trustee Milton Hunt, Football Committee member Bob Caton of Eagle Distributing and Trustee Dick Taylor.

From left: Donor Wesley Campbell of Minuteman Food Marts, Head Coach Pete Shinnick, Lumbee Guaranty Bank President Larry Chavis, Aaron Thomas, president of Metcon Inc., general contractor for the project, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Pembroke Mayor and UNCP Trustee Milton Hunt, Football Committee member Bob Caton of Eagle Distributing and Trustee Dick Taylor.

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Chancellor Allen C. Meadors offered advice to members of the first football recruiting class who were on hand for the event.

“This community had the vision for a long time to bring football back to this University,” Chancellor Meadors said. “Guys, on this date next year, you will have one game behind you and preparing for the first home game. You have an opportunity to make history.”

The weather was overcast, but spirits were high among the 100 football prospects in attendance, including freshman Tommy Locklear, who played football at Purnell Swett High School, a few miles from UNCP.

“I’m excited to be here for the first year, and we are working hard,” Locklear said. “Being able to play football was important in my decision to go to college.”

Terrail Littleton of Asheboro, N.C., who practiced with the team at 6 a.m., said playing football at UNCP is a chance to make history.

Artist Rendering of Field House“It is an honor to be on the team that will bring football back here,” Littleton said. “We’re working really hard. We’ll be ready.”

Sean Boland of Raleigh, N.C., simply said,  “Awesome. I’m really looking forward to getting into this new facility.”

Located on the north end of Lumbee Bank Football Field, the Field House is 27,000 square feet and will house a strength and conditioning room, equipment and laundry rooms, a large team meeting room, coach offices, training room, a team locker room and visitor’s dressing room.

The Field House will be funded with private donations through UNCP’s First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence. Donor and University Trustee Dick Taylor said football is important to the future of the University.

“As you can see from the young men around us here, football is already having an impact on enrollment,” said Taylor, a Lumberton, N.C., businessman. “Weatherwise, this may not be the most beautiful day, but for the University it is a beautiful and historic moment.”

Supporters from across campus and around the region have joined together in support of the football program, said Athletic Director Dan Kenney.

“A lot of people have worked together to make this happen – that’s teamwork,” Kenney said. “We cannot do this as one department or even as one University. It will take an entire region to make football a reality again here.”

New Head Football Coach Pete Shinnick said construction of the Field House is a positive for the program.

“We feel blessed and fortunate to watch this building under construction as our team is under construction,” Coach Shinnick said. “We were up working early this morning, and we are coming together as a team.”

For more information about the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence at UNCP, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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