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Tech Receives Donation For New Track And Field Facilities

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tech Receives Donation For New Track And Field Facilities

Tennessee Tech will move forward with plans for a new track thanks to a $500,000 gift from Tech graduate Tom Jones.

Athletic Director Mark Wilson said the decision to move the track was made late in the process of the Tucker Stadium renovation project, so the school will be playing catchup until it is built. He said the school is very early in the planning process, but a sum like that will go a long way in creating a new facility.

“A track in the stadium like Tucker Stadium is absolutely dynamite,” Wilson said. “But the great thing is, we’ll have a new surface, it’ll have new throwing areas for the teams that throw. I think we’ll have an improved jump situation for high jump, long jump, triple-vault, pole vault.”

Wilson said the school intends to construct a new Student Event Center at the south end of the stadium, which also contributed to the track needing to be moved. He said, in reality, it would be nice for a new facility to be done now, but projects like this one take time.

“The folks in Capital Planning working with Dr. Oldham, they’re exploring potential locations for that on campus and property otherwise owned by the university, but no decisions have been made on that yet,” Wilson said. “Once those decisions are made, then we’ll get into an actual construction project.”

Wilson said the current track can still be used as a 300-meter track, but not the usual 400-meter.

“We are very very grateful for the support of our alumni and friends,” Wilson said. “Very grateful for the support of Mr. Tom Jones for the gift toward a new track. That really just propels us and helps the university provide the very best for our student-athletes.”

He said as of now, the north and south curves, and the east straightaway can still be used. He said the prospect of a new facility is a great tool in attracting high school athletes to the university.

“Facilities is a big part of recruiting in intercollegiate athletics,” Wilson said. “Especially Division-I intercollegiate athletics, so a new track and a new surface, because the Tucker Stadium surface, the primary surface for the running track has been there my entire 20 years.”

Wilson said the new state-of-the-art track, with the help of Jones’ donation, will push Tennessee Tech student-athletes toward accomplishing personal goals and team championships in years to come.


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