Ferrum NewsHank Norton Center Groundbreaking News

Ferrum College to Break Ground on Hank Norton Center




For Immediate Release

Contact: John Carlin

Ferrum College to Break Ground on Hank Norton Center
New athletic facility will offer state of the art training and fitness space,
classrooms and staff offices.

Ferrum, Va. (September 10, 2010) – Ferrum College announced plans today for a new athletic center to be named for retired coach Hank Norton, Ferrum’s renowned former athletic director and championship football coach. The $5.5 million dollar facility will serve the men’s and women’s outdoor athletic teams and offer state of the art training facilities, a weight room, classrooms and offices for coaching staff.

“We are so pleased to add the Hank Norton Center to the outstanding facilities Ferrum offers to our students,” said Ferrum College President Jennifer Braaten. “The Center will offer enhanced opportunities for all of our student-athletes, including space for classroom instruction in the areas of athletic training, sports medicine and health sciences, and additional offices for our dedicated coaching staff. For the large numbers of our students who participate in athletics, the Hank Norton Center will be a welcome and much needed addition to campus.”

“This is an important step in the history of Ferrum College,” said Sam Lionberger, Jr., chair of the Board of Trustees. “We are we adding a first class facility to our campus and at the same time honoring a legendary coach, mentor and friend of the Ferrum family. This project signifies the commitment from the trustees to the president, faculty, staff, alumni and especially current students to stay ahead of the curve and increase Panther pride.”
The 29,000 square foot facility, designed by Mark W. Smith AIA of Craddock Cunningham Architectural Partners, features a brick façade and will be located adjacent to Adams Stadium. Frith Construction Company of Martinsville has been awarded the construction contract.   The ground floor will house classrooms, locker space and a weight room, while the first floor will feature the Ferrum College Sports Hall of Fame and house offices for coaches, a kitchenette, and shower facilities for referees and other game officials.

“A facility like the Hank Norton Center will allow us to better train our current student- athletes,” said Athletic Director Abe Naff. “And it will give us a better opportunity to recruit students who want to continue their athletic careers after high school. In this day and age student athletes are looking for this type of facility when they choose their college.”
Women’s softball coach, Vickie Van Kleeck agreed, saying, “We want to continue Ferrum’s great success in Division III athletics. This will help us recruit and serve the best students for the program.”

Hank Norton, who served as head football coach from 1960 to 1993, said he was both honored and pleased. “I’ve had more honors than I deserve,” said Norton, from his home in Deltaville. “This isn’t about me. It’s about Ferrum College. We’ve come so far from the days when our punter stood in the middle of Route 40 in order to kick the ball. This is a great accomplishment for the College.” Norton won four national championships at Ferrum when it was a Junior College. At the Division III level Norton’s teams enjoyed 5 undefeated regular seasons, and 9 seasons with just one loss. He served as Athletic Director from 1965 to1985 and from 1989 to1993.

Work on the Hank Norton Center will begin immediately following a ceremonial ground breaking, scheduled for at 1 p.m. on October 2, just prior to the Ferrum Panther’s homecoming matchup with North Carolina Wesleyan College. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2011.

Videotaped statements from President Braaten and Coach Norton are available on the Ferrum College You Tube channel. It can be viewed by visiting www.ferrum.edu and clicking on the Ferrum College YouTube channel.

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About Ferrum College: Ferrum College is a four-year, private, co-educational, liberal arts college affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Ferrum offers a choice of nationally recognized bachelor's degree programs at a cost well below the national average for private colleges.