WDAZ: Your Home Team

Published July 31, 2013, 10:50 PM

UND Coaches Anxiously Await Indoor Practice Facility

The UND Athletics High Performance Center will take the place of the old Ralph Engelstad Arena

By: Dan Corey, WDAZ

It’s a turning of the page for University of North Dakota athletics.

UND head football coach Chris Mussman: "It's better for athletics right now, it's time to move on and we're excited about the opportunities in front of us."

Chris Mussman spent his afternoons this past spring in the blistering cold watching his team shovel snow at Memorial Stadium. When the new indoor facility is completed right next door, those shovels will be traded in for shorts.

Mussman: "What this will do, will be training for us. It will allow our kids to a year-round football facility. We have a great deal with the Alerus Center but we don't always have access to it. Here, we will have access to this 24 hours, seven days a week."

The deconstruction of the Old Ralph Englestad Arena began on Monday morning, entering a new chapter for all teams.

Dick Clay, UND head cross country coach: "It's making way for something that that is going to really help our program and just help UND in general athletics, not just track but the entire athletic department."

Tabbed as the UND Athletics High Performance Center, the 20 million dollar project is set to break ground this fall.

Kevin Galbraith, UND head track coach: "It's such a huge leap, it takes us out of where we are and takes us to a whole new world."

That world will soon become the pride and joy of the UND track team.

Galbraith: "Just being able to host meets, being able to have a real home that we can be proud to show people and have opportunities to train and do the training when we need it, I almost can't quantify it."

And although a date is not set on when the facility will open its doors, some are already making plans.

Mussman: "Much to the chagrin of the guys, we will get in there bright and early in the morning and kind of free up the afternoon. We've already mapped out the schedule as to once it's open."