Hundreds celebrate the opening of the the new $5.5 million state-of-the-art facility.
Ferrum, Va. (May 4, 2012) – Ferrum College dedicated its $5.5 million Hank Norton Athletic Center (HNC) today, to the enthusiastic cheers of hundreds of students, faculty, staff, donors and alumni. The ceremony, preceded by entertainment and “game day” refreshments, was highlighted by a symbolic ribbon cutting as Ferrum student athletes burst through a tape and ran onto the field in front of the HNC to the beat of a rousing fight song played by the Franklin County High School marching band,
“This is a thrilling day for Ferrum,” said President Jennifer Braaten. “Student athletics has been an important part of our history and mission. This new facility is a much anticipated addition to campus and will benefit the entire College community for decades to come.”
Named for Hank Norton, award-winning legendary former football coach and athletic director, the HNC includes a training facility featuring the latest technology for the treatment and prevention of injuries, a weight room, locker rooms, staff offices, and a large classroom.
“It’s wonderful to see just how far the athletic program has come,” said Norton, who led Ferrum to acclaim with four national football championships during its junior college years.
Athletic Director Abe Naff calls the HNC a “game changer.” Naff noted that “it will give us the opportunity to better recruit students who want to continue their athletic careers after high school. Today’s students are looking for this type of facility when they choose their college.”
Kim Blair, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, thanked everyone who contributed to the successful fundraising effort. “We would not have this wonderful building for our student athletes if not for the generosity of our dedicated alumni, loyal friends and our Board of Trustees” she said.
Bobby Thompson, Senior Vice President for Administration noted the tremendous economic benefit of the HNC to the Ferrum community and surrounding areas. “Frith Construction of Martinsville was the general contractor for the Hank Norton Center and used local and regional subcontractors and suppliers during the 1 ½ year building process. It ‘s wonderful to realize that this project, which will help attract and retain students for continued growth, also provided so many jobs in the region,” said Thompson.
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