Work Progresses On New UMHB Stadium

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BELTON (April 5, 2013)--In 2011, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor had a master plan of expanding and adding improvements to the campus.

A nursing and visual arts building have been completed along with a field house.

UMHB broke ground on Crusader Stadium and student union building in March 2011. For years, the Crusaders have been playing home games on the field of Belton High School.

The completion date for the stadium is August 2013. "This weekend were going to actually be setting the last pieces of the pre cast upper deck seating," said Scott Dodd, Director UMHB Campus Construction.

Turner Construction, who is working on the project, will be working around the clock the next few days to finish the seating. They plan to begin work on the field next week and that will take around 90 days to complete.

The stadium has a capacity of 7,500 seats, which will accommodate 2,500 on the visitor's side and 5,000 on the home side. "The field will be used for other events on campus," said Dodd.

"There will be movie nights and maybe some graduation ceremonies and other large gathering opportunities."

The student union is scheduled to be complete by September, but may not be officially ready for entry until November or December, according to Dodd. The three-story student union has the bookstore, cafeteria and franchise eateries on the first floor.

Those franchises include Starbucks, Chick-Fil-A and 1845 Grill. The second floor will accommodate student organizations, student life offices and a board room. The third floor will hold the ballroom and band hall.

"Our president had a vision to have our new student union building and the stadium together here at the central part of the campus," said Dodd. "This will hopefully draw students into the athletic program and enhance the experience for them on campus. We want our students and guests to feel our campus and be a part of what's happening here."

The price tag for the project is estimated to cost $20 million. After the project is complete the next undertaking is to build a performing arts center and renovate some existing buildings.

The first home game for the Crusaders is September 21.

To view the 24-hour live web camera of construction on the stadium, visit the following link: