Among the different projects Averett University is investing part the $28 million raised over the course of the school’s most recent capital campaign will be in the completion of the Frank R. Campbell Stadium project.
Groundbreaking on the $3.5 million facility is scheduled for Nov. 2, and the project is scheduled to be complete in advance of the 2016 Averett football, men’s and women’s soccer seasons.
“What a momentous day this is in the life of Averett University,” University president Dr. Tiffany Franks said in her remarks to the crowd of students, staff, trustees and donors gathered outside the student center on the school’s main campus. “This is an achievement we could not have realized without our generous donors, and on behalf of the university, I want to thank you all for what you’ve helped us accomplish that will positively impact the lives of our students today and for years to come.”
The university worked closely with the Daly Trust, the Grant Trust and the JT Minnie Maud Foundation in obtaining funding for the facility.
Averett completed the first phase of its stadium project last summer with the installation of lights and synthetic turf on Daly Field. Those improvements paved way for Averett’s first night football game in program history on Oct. 18 against Christopher Newport University.
“It’s a dream come true, and it’s a great day for our student-athletes,” said Averett football coach Cleive Adams. “They’re even more excited for the future now. It’s just incredible.”
The focus of this final phase centers on the new J.T. Emerson Press Box, the new seating areas inside Frank R. Campbell Stadium and a new entry plaza.
Adams said the improvements will only boost further his recruiting efforts.
“It’s going to put us in the same categories as the other private schools in Virginia and North Carolina,” he said. “With the artificial turf and the lights, we already took a huge step. Once we surround that facility with the stadium and everything that comes with it, it’s going to be a huge boost for us from a recruiting perspective.”
Athletic Director Meg Stevens shared Adams’ sentiments when speaking for the good it brings not just to the football program, but also to the men’s and women’s soccer programs and the greater Averett and Dan-ville communities.
“This changes our world,” she said. “This just doesn’t change football, men’s soccer and women’s soc-cer. It changes our entire athletics feel, our complex. When you start building state-of-the-art facilities like this it puts you on the map. It’s good for Danville. This will be a staple.”
Averett’s capital campaign began in July 2010, and the goal was originally to raise $25 million. With still over 30 days to go until the campaign’s completion, the school reported as of March 31 the total capital raised was $28,217,627.