Ground work has begun for Heidelberg University's Hoernemann Stadium and The Fox Den Alumni Center; the university has only about $400,000 left to raise to reach its goal.
"We're in the very early stages of the construction process and recently hampered by extreme weather conditions," said Rod Morrison, associate vice president for facilities and engineering and on-site project manager for Heidelberg. "The site has been cleared and excavation has begun for the underground portions of the building."
The project is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1, Morrison said.
A rendering of Heidelberg University’s construction project.
The university has raised $4.4 million, said Jim Minehart, executive director of development and planned giving.
"People want to see this stadium become a reality. People have really wrapped their arms around this project and have stepped forward with very generous gifts," Minehart said.
Several groups of former players and coaches have helped in fundraising with different challenges. On group, called "The Fox Men," was given the challenge from the board of trustees to raise $1 million and the board would match it.
Minehart said fundraising is wrapping up, but there are opportunities for the community to still get involved. Minehart said donors can consider a gift in memory or honor of a loved one by naming a section of seats.
"This is one way to appeal to everyone," Minehart said.
Hoernemann Stadium is to be named after long-time successful football coach Paul "The Fox" Hoernemann. In his 14 years as coach, Hoernemann, a 1938 Heidelberg alum, had a record of 102 wins and 18 losses with four ties.
The stadium is to be a tri-level facility built into the hillside on Greenfield Street. The stadium, which is to host football and other sports, is to include an upper-level press box, plaza-level ticket windows, concessions and restrooms, track-level locker rooms and an indoor sports room for wrestling and baseball. An elevator and handicapped-accessible seating and parking areas also are to be included.
The stands are to hold roughly 1,500, including standing-room. The stadium is to offer the capability for additional seating in the future.
The alumni center, called Fox Den, is to feature a reception area, an exhibit gallery and a private viewing deck with access to reserved seating on the 50-yard line.
Exterior features are to include covered plaza areas, ground and upper-level walking areas, sidewalks and paths.
Building of the stadium is part of the university's strategic action plan, the first project of Phase Three.
Other construction projects at the university included renovations of Adams Hall and Media Communication Center, the new Talmage Residence Hall, The University Commons, Saurwein Heath & Wellness Center, renovations to Beeghly Library and Bryenton Honors Center.
Snavely Group, of Chargrin Falls, is the construction company. Other local contractors on the project include Alvada Construction, Dundore Plumbing & Heating, Construction Services Inc. and Bromack Electric.