Cliff Peale reports:
OXFORD — Miami University has raised enough money to build a $13 million indoor sports building and football practice facility near the north end of Yager Stadium.
Trustees are expected Friday to approve construction, which would start next spring and be done in late 2014.
Just as Miami hired new football coach Chuck Martin last week and completed a dismal 0-12 season, the Indoor Sports Center is a symbol of its ambitions to make another run at national relevance in college athletics.
The building is first step in a capital campaign for athletics that Miami hopes to launch in January with a goal of up to $80 million. The campaign also could include an indoor “performance center” and a renovated press box.
Athletic Director David Sayler said Miami students would be using the practice building, with its synthetic field, for intramurals and other activities most weeknights.
That’s why Miami is altering its policy and allowing construction to start without all of the money in hand.
“The beauty of the indoor facility is it benefits a lot of sports, not just football,” Sayler said.
Donors have pledged $12.4 million for the building, with about $3.15 million already in hand.
The practice facility will replace Withrow Court, built in 1931, which would have cost $5 million to renovate.