Northeastern State University RiverHawks Make History

Groundbreaking ceremony for the Multipurpose Event Center.Nabholz Oklahoma President Chris Burnett, Regional University System of Oklahoma Regents (RUSO) Belva Howard and Connie Reilly, Northeastern State University President Steve Turner, RUSO Regent Richard Ogden, President of Northeastern Student Government Association Chuck Philpy, NSU Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth and Tahlequah City Mayor Jason Nichols take their turn at the shovel during the May 3 groundbreaking for Northeastern's $14.4 million Multipurpose Event Center.

Tahlequah, Okla.– A pivotal event was held today at the Northeastern State University Tahlequah campus as the multipurpose event center officially broke ground. This center is the culmination of discussions, plans and visions from many parties including the Regional University System of Oklahoma Board of Regents, Nabholz Construction Services, Crafton Tull architects, NSU students and athletes.

“Today marks a renaissance for RiverHawk athletics as they join the MIAA conference and create a state-of-the-art venue for collegiate athletics,” stated NSU President Steve Turner.

President Turner spoke to a group of over 150 people eager to see the first shovel of dirt turned. Other dignitaries who addressed the crowd were RUSO Regent Richard Ogden, Tahlequah City Mayor Jason Nichols, NSU Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth, President of Northeastern Student Government Association Chuck Philpy and Nabholz Oklahoma President Chris Burnett.

Taking up half of a city block, the new $14.4 million facility compliments the Doc Wadley Stadium to the north and the College of Optometry to the south. The new complex will allow for more expanded programs and new events in Tahlequah to serve the city and campus community for decades to come.

“I am convinced this is going to be a watershed moment for Tahlequah when it comes to economic development and public relations,” said Nichols.

The building will house more than 78,000 square feet. The floor plan calls for 69 rooms including six locker rooms. Amenities will also include a video screening room, an athletics shop, a suite of offices for coaches and staff, concession areas, laundry facilities, a ticket office and a room for the athletic and alumni associations.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see an institution that you love grow and expand to become something even greater than you know it already is,” expressed Philpy.

Permanent seating capacity will be about 3,000. However, configurations using floor and mezzanine space will permit the seating of additional people.

“This is a great collaboration between Northeastern State University, the Cherokee Nation, the United Keetoowah Band and the City of Tahlequah,” said Ogden.

The groundbreaking ceremony officially kicked off the 15-month construction project with hopes of basketball practice beginning at the new facility in August 2013.

“We are going to work hard to ensure this event center recognizes all former student athletes, teams and coaches that have made NSU basketball specifically such a great tradition here,” stated Duckworth.

Northeastern is a comprehensive regional university that prepares students to succeed as global citizens by providing exceptional undergraduate and graduate programs, along with the only doctorate of Optometry offered in Oklahoma (one of only 20 nationwide). For more information on the multipurpose event center, visit the Captial Projects page.

Founded in 1949, Nabholz Construction is one of the nation's leading general contractors and construction managers. The company is employee-owned, licensed in 42 states and has offices in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. For more information visit Nabholz Construction Services website

Published: 5/3/2012 3:16:31 PM

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