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Nathan Baker

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Dome developments to better Buc football

June 7th, 2014 10:16 pm by Nathan Baker

Dome developments to better Buc football

This room has been slated to be the new weight room when ETSU's football program returns. (Lee Talbert/Johnson City Press)

Athletes signed on to the fledgling football program at East Tennessee State University will be greeted by new and upgraded facilities for training later this year.

Associate Athletic Director for Communication Michael White said the Mountain States Health Alliance Athletics Center, more commonly known as the minidome, is undergoing a series of construction projects to ready the facilities for practice and training for the new Bucs team.

Opposite Gordon Ball Court, where the men’s and women’s basketball teams practice, crews are carving out space for a new weight room for the athletes, and just down the hall, locker rooms are being renovated before the arrival of the players.

“There are a significant number of student athletes coming with the starting of the football program,” White said. “With the work at the minidome, we’re preparing practice areas, meeting rooms, coaching space and locker rooms.”

The weight room is going in the space previously occupied by an auxiliary gym, formerly used by some of the college’s physical education classes. The new locker room is also moving into space previously used by PE classes, dividing larger locker rooms into smaller spaces — one for the new team, yet still retaining locker rooms for classes.

White said he wasn’t sure of the price for the overall project, but said contractor J.E. Green Co., is aiming to have the spaces ready for the start of the fall semester in August.

The minidome is also undergoing a more outwardly visible roofing project to keep the players, equipment and fans safe and dry.

A chain-link fence now rings the outside of the facility to protect passersby from possibly debris from the roofers.

White said the workers won’t be removing the current roof and replacing it, but instead putting a new cover on top.

The roofing work could be completed by the end of the calendar year, White said.

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Eds note: This story has been changed from the original posting to reflect that the roofing project will likely take longer than the beginning of the fall semester in August to complete.

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