GRAND FORKS, N.D.(UNDSPORTS.COM) – University of North Dakota Director of Athletics Brian Faison announced that preliminary work has begun on the demolition of the old Ralph Engelstad Arena east of Memorial Stadium. Once the demolition has been completed, construction will begin on Phase I of the UND Athletics High Performance Center, a new indoor practice and competition facility for UND Athletics. Demolition of the old Engelstad Arena, which is being undertaken in multiple phases for salvage purposes, is expected to be completed later this summer. Faison said the goal is to begin construction on the UND Athletics High Performance Center in Fall 2013. Phase I of the new facility will include a full-sized football practice field, an 8-lane / 300-meter track, throws and jumps areas, and seating for approximately 1,500 spectators. “We’re excited for this facility, which we’ve called a game-changer for UND Athletics. It’s been talked about and dreamed about for a long, long time, and we’re thrilled to finally see it coming to fruition,” said Faison. “This past spring was a perfect example of why a facility like this is so critical. Our spring sports, particularly football, baseball, softball and track and field, were forced to endure multiple weather-related issues that a facility like this will prevent in the future.” The UND Athletics High Performance Center will be utilized by all UND Athletics teams. It will also serve the Greater Grand Forks community by offering a host site for youth and collegiate events. “The facility will be a tremendous asset for the entire community,” said Faison. “We will be able to host track and field events at all levels, and we will seek to host Division II and III and NAIA championships, as well as possibly get into the rotation to host Big Sky Conference championships.” When fully completed, the UND Athletics High Performance Complex will also feature state-of-the-art strength and conditioning and sports medicine facilities. It will also house UND’s Athletics Academic Support Services operations, as well as coaches offices and locker rooms. “This project is the result of a complete team effort that was headed by [UND President] Dr. Robert Kelly, [UND Alumni Association & Foundation Vice-President and CEO] Tim O’Keefe, the Alumni Association & Foundation, and our coaching staff,” said Faison.
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