West Virginia University Director of Athletics and Associate Vice President Shane Lyons announced today a $10 million gift from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust to build an Athletics Performance Center at the WVU Coliseum Sports Complex.
"To build this kind of performance center, we needed a leadership gift as part of our Climbing Higher Campaign," Lyons said. "I cannot begin to express my thanks and sincere appreciation to the trustees of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust. They recognized the great need for a building like this and the major impact it will have on WVU's student-athletes for decades to come."
The Performance Center will become the home for strength and conditioning, training, rehabilitation and nutrition for all WVU Olympic sport programs. More than 400 student-athletes will benefit from the center and enhance WVU's commitment to compete at a national level.
"It is exciting to imagine the future of our Olympic sports thanks to this generous and significant gift from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust," President Gordon Gee said. "While we have had success, notably in rifle and soccer, this will provide West Virginia University student-athletes in every sport with the best possible facilities to develop their skills."
With WVU's men's and women's swimming and diving teams becoming tenants at the Mylan Park Aquatics Center, the existing Natatorium will be converted and renovated to encompass a multi-level performance center in excess of 21,000 gross square feet.
In addition to new weight, training and rehabilitation rooms, the facility will also feature extensive cardio and plyometric areas, hydrotherapy and cryotherapy sections as well as locker rooms to become an all-inclusive home for WVU's Olympic Sports. Multiple teams will be able to use the center at one time, alleviating scheduling concerns and providing time management flexibility in the areas of academics and team practices.
The building will be a critical component to the future success of baseball, volleyball, gymnastics, rowing, golf, track and field, tennis, rifle, wrestling, swimming and diving, men's soccer and women's soccer. It will equip student-athletes, coaches and staff with a world-class training facility and the necessary means to compete and balance the playing field with conference and national opponents.
Following the extraordinary example of its founder, the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust is one of the University's largest benefactors, having made donations to a wide variety of causes and programs across the University, including WVU Hospitals, School of Medicine, College of Law, WVU Alumni Association, Athletics, Davis College and WVU Extension as well as the establishment of the cross-disciplinary Ruby Scholars Graduate Research Fellowships.
Mrs. McQuain, who passed away in 2002 at the age of 93, and the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust have endowed six chairs in the University; created the Hazel Ruby McQuain WVU College of Law Dean's Endowment Fund; and generously supported various University programs and facilities. Mrs. McQuain also made an $8 million gift toward the construction of Ruby Memorial Hospital, which was named after her late husband, J.W. Ruby. She served as an 11-year member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.
In 2012, the West Virginia University Foundation recognized the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust by permanently naming one of its annual philanthropic awards in the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust's honor. Established in 2005, the Foundation's outstanding philanthropic foundation award is now known as the Hazel Ruby McQuain Outstanding Philanthropic Foundation Award.
"I cannot stress enough how important this addition will be to our overall athletics program," Lyons said. "We have teams without proper weight, training and nutrition areas in addition to teams without locker rooms. This building will bring our Olympic sport programs under one roof and give them the tools necessary to compete on a Power 5 level."
Through the Climbing Higher Campaign, the Olympic Sports Performance Center is the next step for WVU Athletics to take to strengthen its national brand, field competitive teams in all sports and continue to bring positive recognition to the University and the state of West Virginia.