BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - UAB has received approval to build a new outdoors track and field venue.
The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees approved the final stages today. Construction will begin this summer.
"The UAB Department of Athletics would like to thank the UA System Board of Trustees for approving our new track and field complex which will continue to enhance our program and our university as a whole. The continued growth of our campus and athletic department specifically means a great deal to the city of Birmingham as we expand our national footprint. For the first time in our track and field program's 33-year history, it will have a world class, competitive track to practice and compete on. This will allow us to host events of different levels from around the city, state and region. It will also be a great asset to our student body, faculty, staff and citizens of Birmingham who will also have utilization of the track," UAB athletic director Mark Ingram said in a press release.
The facility, which will be located adjacent to the renovated BBVA Compass Field, will have a Mondo track surface with eight lanes, each being 48 inches in width. The track will have dual straights with discus, javelin and shot put throwing spaces on the infield. The hammer cage and jumps will be located outside the track.
The new track will be capable of hosting NCAA, conference and high school-level events. Long-time UAB supporter Steve DeMedicis gifted a pledge that made the project possible.
UAB athletics has also received a large pledge from former Blazer football players for the football practice facility program.
Head coach Bill Clark has emphasized the importance of welcoming back former players and keeping them involved in the program, and the latest $500,000 donation shows how involved some players are. To date, 23 former players have donated toward the $22.5 million project.
"When we say the word family we really mean it. Our former players are the ones who paved the path for our current student-athletes and we want them to know how appreciative we are for that. Their continued investment into the UAB football program will continue to make an impact for the team on and off the field," Clark said in a press release/