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ISU trustees will consider an $11.5 million domed practice facility for athletics

Illinois State University football would get an $11.5 million indoor practice facility, under a proposal the university Board of Trustees will consider Saturday.

Illinois State University trustees have scheduled a special meeting on Saturday to consider an $11.5 million indoor practice facility for athletics.

The inflatable dome would be built on the football practice field north of Horton Field House. Artificial turf would be installed on the 100-yard field.

The facility is intended to provide space for football and ISU’s other outdoor sports teams to practice during inclement weather. Currently, athletics uses Horton Field House for indoor practices. Athletics officials have said the fieldhouse is insufficient to meet the needs of ISU’s athletic teams and students.

ISU athletics has been actively fundraising for the project for several years. According to the resolution presented to the board of trustees, the project would be authorized once the university has secured $8.05 million, or 70% of the project cost.

The document indicates ISU has close to $7 million committed to the project, including $4.3 million in donations paid and close to $1 million in donor pledges. ISU athletics announced a $2 million anonymous gift for the project in March.

ISU officials said they can also have close to $1.5 million in unspent bond proceeds from the Redbird Arena seat renovation project and $165,000 in athletic department funds to help cover the project costs.

The university would seek to borrow to cover costs not covered through private fundraising.

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