By Eddie Hobbs
Wednesday marked a big day for the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The two schools held a celebration to mark the completion of the first phase in construction of the new Cole Field House, which included the completed indoor practice fields.
Cole Field House is expected to be completed in early 2019.
We're here at the new Cole Field House for the completion of the indoor practice fields. Take a look! pic.twitter.com/NIvXUfPcY9
— WMUC Sports (@WMUCSports) August 2, 2017
Many former and current Terps were able to see how Cole had transformed. The university first announced in October 2016 that it wanted to bring state-of-the-art research, innovation, athletics and clinical practice to the University of Maryland.
Wallace D. Loh, the university’s president, was one of the speakers at the ceremony and his energy and enthusiasm for Cole was felt. Loh encouraged everyone around the practice field to yell “Maryland” so that the roof would blow off. He talked about how the fundraising so far has been phenomenal and discussed what it means for Maryland.
“This is the largest fundraising project ever in the history of this university,” Loh said, “and in three and a half years we have reached over two thirds of our fundraising goal. That is an amazing accomplishment.” Loh mentioned the university has raised $81 million dollars so far.
Maryland football head coach DJ Durkin was in attendance for this event and also spoke. Durkin mentioned how he has a “permanent smile” because of the new building in combination with the season starting up. Durkin ran in to former Maryland basketball head coach Gary Williams while walking into the new building and said his memories of Cole Field House were of Williams giving his all on and off the court.
Durkin touched on how Cole Field House plays a part in recruiting for these future student athletes, especially the local guys.
“It’s great, the kids in our area understand now that they’re getting the best of the best here; Education wise, facility wise and on the field.” Durkin said. “They don’t have to go anywhere else in order to get all their hopes and dreams out of their college experience.”
Cole Field House is far from being complete, but it looks like a bright spot not only for sports, but for education as well.