CSU to Break Ground on New Athletic CenterSeptember 28, 2011
by CSU Sports Information
CHARLESTON, S.C. – Charleston Southern University president Dr. Jairy Hunter, along with Vice-President for Student Affairs and Athletics Dr. Rick Brewer and Director of Athletics Hank Small have announced that the University will break ground for a new athletic center in October.
“The University is grateful to our football players, athletic director and coaches for their dedication and hard work,” said CSU president Dr. Jairy C. Hunter. “In playing nationally ranked football teams to raise funds for construction of our new athletic center. These men are truly servant leaders.”
The ground breaking will take place on October 1 as part of the University’s annual Homecoming celebration. All present and former Buccaneer football and track & field athletes are invited to participate in the ceremony to be held at 12:30 p.m. Media members, alumni, friends and fans are invited to attend the ceremony as well.
The new facility will feature football and track & field locker rooms. It will also boast an athletic training center, and will be located between Buccaneer Stadium and Buccaneer Field House. The facility is the first part of a multi-stage project involving renovations to athletic facilities.
“The Athletic Center represents significant progress for CSU’s NCAA D-1 athletic program, specifically the university’s commitment to student-athlete welfare and success,” says Brewer. “We are excited about the construction of this anchor facility for two additional facilities to be built in the future. Once completed, this 3-building complex will provide in excess of 24,000 square foot space for locker rooms, meeting areas, coaches’ offices, and a state of the art weight/training facility. The Athletic Center advances CSU’s athletic program goal of providing a competitive NCAA experience built upon a commitment to developing student-athletes academically, athletically, and spiritually.”
Many Buccaneers, both past and present have voiced their excitement regarding the project. Josh Aydlette and Tosha Ansley, both former CSU athletes and current coaches, look forward to the new addition.
“I'm very excited about the groundbreaking for the new building, because it shows that the Athletic Department and the University are both committed to helping our teams grow and become a formidable Division I athletics program,” said Aydlette, who will be inducted into the CSU Hall of Fame this year. “I think it's great that track is being included, because our track program is consistently one of the top programs in the Big South Conference and we regularly send athletes to compete at Nationals. Great things are going on at CSU and I'm glad I can be a part of them.”
Ansley, also a Hall of Famer, agreed with Aydlette’s idea that the facility will greatly benefit the track & field programs.
“As an alum, it’s great to see them build this facility,” says Ansley. “When I was an athlete we had limited use of the field house and mostly chose to change in our rooms. As a coach, it’s great for my girls. They can come straight in from practice, change, go to the training room and everything is taken care of. It’s very convenient. It’s a place for them to do things as a team and have a space of their own. They’ve never had that before.
Former track & field coach Jim Settle, who was the head of program from 1965-1994, has also voiced his enthusiasm for the project. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990, Settle was an instrumental part in laying the foundation for the success that the track & field programs still demonstrate today.
“I think it’s wonderful to be able to do this for the student-athletes,” said Settle. “It is something that we have needed for a long time. Though the administration has done a great job of shifting things around from season-to-season to make sure everybody has dressing facilities, these teams need facilities. Hopefully, this is something that will be uplifting for these athletes and these programs.”
Current CSU track athlete Katelyn Brumett, a freshman for the Buccaneers, thinks the space will help facilitate a better team bond.
“To have a locker room just for the track athletes is going to be awesome,” says Burnett. “The track and volleyball programs are currently sharing, and we look forward to being able to come in and just have our stuff right there. We won’t have to worry about anybody messing with our stuff. It will be nice to be able to take a shower before I go to my room and not have to fight with my roommates over the shower. I’ll be able to be with the team more because having our own locker room, we’ll be comfortable staying there together and having fun together. I’m really excited that the school has decided to dedicate money to us, and it really makes us feel special.”
Sophomore Rozzie Johnson, a member of the men’s track & field program, echoes Brumett’s sentiments. Used to sharing a locker room with other programs, Johnson is expected to have space in the new facility for the final two years of his CSU career.
“I think the new facility is going to have a great impact on our team,” he says. “It will bring us even closer together as a team. We’re all very excited about the new building.”
Sophomore quarterback Malcolm Dixon is thrilled to see the plan put into motion after hearing about it on his recruiting visits.
“One of the reasons I came is because they said they were making improvements,” said Dixon. “It’s going to be great to have a new locker room. Our current locker room is small so this will be great for the whole team. It will be nice to have some more room – some ‘man space.’ It’s exciting to think that when I look back on this, I can say I was one of the first to use it. That’s special for me.”
Former quarterback Collin Drafts, a member of the 2005 Big South Championship team and a 2011 Hall of Fame inductee, is excited to see his alma mater make improvements.
“This building has been a long time coming,” says Drafts, who still holds both CSU and BSC records in numerous categories. “This is something that was talked about when I was in school, so it’s great to see it finally happening. I think it is something that will definitely help with recruiting and will strengthen the program.”
Fellow Hall of Famer Marc Embler is also excited about the project. Embler, a member of the class 1979, was inducted into the CSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002 for track & field. He is currently a professor of criminal justice at the University.
“This is an exciting time to be part of the Charleston Southern Buccaneer family,” he says. “The new athletic facility is another step toward reaching the vision of the University. The facility will not only enhance the atmosphere for current athletes and coaches, but will serve as a tremendous recruiting tool for future CSU student-athletes.”
Media members may contact Vice-President for Student Affairs & Athletics Dr. Rick Brewer for interviews or any other requests.