There will be a 15-station computer lab in the new building, but that hardly will be all. The 14,156 square feet also will include a writing center, an open tutoring area, private tutor rooms, a classroom or three, a 75-seat auditorium, a quiet study area and other amenities.
The sports medicine center will be a bit larger at 19,955 square feet and will provide a stunning upgrade in that area.
When finished in late summer 2014 or thereabouts, the complex will present an entirely new look for passersby on Third Avenue. But from atop the west side of the stadium, the indoor practice venue will dominate the landscape.
Row 56 of the stadium's east side is roughly 50 feet above ground level and the indoor practice facility will rise to about 70 feet. For TV audiences, it will give a much better look than the current picture, which is drab at best.
The new sky suites will have much the same view, and that self-funding project is coming along nicely. There are four large boxes flanking the original Sky Deck floor of coaches' boxes, etc., and they can be divided with a sliding wall if desired. As a not-so-small bonus, a third elevator has been built and the other two cranky shafts replaced.
The four suites have long been spoken for at $60,000 a year for seven years. By the time extra tickets are sold, $250,000 a year will be generated and those suites will be paid off in those seven years.
Technically, that's part of the $33.5 million price tag for the entire menu. Bonding took care of the first $10 million with the rest coming from suite leasing, facilities surcharges on tickets and the privately funded Vision Campaign, which has raised $15 million to date. Hamrick thinks that with the venues taking shape, the rest of the drive can be wrapped up in the next six to eight months.
After all, Marshall followers have a well-founded skepticism about the completion of proposed projects.
"I believe that once people finally see and believe what's happening, that the people who have been hesitant to jump on board ... will jump on board. It's moving along.
"And fans this fall will really start to see that indoor facility come up out of the ground."
When all that finishes, Hamrick doesn't want to stand pat. There is that long-neglected matter of a baseball stadium, which would be a perfect fit for the ACF lot at Third Avenue and 24th Street - and would provide a good campus transition from the indoor facility complex to the soccer complex. Hamrick welcomed the tax-increment financing plan to build a ballpark designed for West Virginia University, sensing a blueprint to follow.
And if the ballpark somehow gets off the ground, what would be next? How about Cam Henderson Center, the graying basketball arena some critics contend was obsolete from its 1981 opening?
Don't worry; it's on Hamrick's mind. For the time being, "the Cam" serves as an example of what not to do when building new venues.
"That's why when somebody asks me, 'Why are you spending $8 million on a soccer complex, why are you doing a 120-yard football field [indoors] when you can do 60 or 70 yards?' " Hamrick said. "Why are you doing [an] eight-lane straightaway on a track? Why do you need 15,000 square feet for academics?
"Because 10 or 15 years from now, the facilities won't be outdated."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsm...@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.