$5 million award to jumpstart $78 million recreation project

Frostburg State aims for indoor athletic facility, sports fields upgrades

FROSTBURG — Frostburg State University President Ronald Nowaczyk recently announced the school has been awarded $5 million from the state of Maryland to begin designing a regional recreation center.

The proposed $78 million project also includes upgrades to existing sports fields and renovation the Harold J. Cordts Physical Education Center.

Photo by Frostburg State University

The university is “working with the Maryland Stadium Authority and hopes to find a private partner to make FSU a destination for collegiate and community sports activities and tournaments,” Nowaczyk said in a video to the campus community last week.

The complex “would benefit the region’s residents and FSU students,” according to a document associated with the university’s Fiscal Year 2023 Capital Budget Testimony to the Maryland General Assembly. “Public recreational facilities are lacking in Allegany and Garrett counties relative to other parts of Maryland and surrounding regions in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Families in the area, with children engaged in organized sports, are often forced to travel out of state and drive more than an hour to recreation facilities. These travels have economic implications when families stay overnight, taking revenue out of state.”

FSU officials predict the center could become the regional hub of athletic activity and draw events to Frostburg “rather than to Morgantown or Altoona.”

FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk

Upgrades to existing facilities include ADA-compliant stands, bathrooms, lighting, and turf fields. The project also calls to renovate the Cordts P.E. Center, which is approaching its 50th year of active use.

A recent effort to build an indoor fitness facility in nearby Grantsville has not materialized as planned. The proposed Joint Training Facility site, privately funded, was to be home to a 142,000-square-foot indoor arena. Its planned 2017 opening never happened. It, too, wanted to host regional athletic events.

Today, JTF is a mobile sports business that brings activities to various locations for customers.

The project comes on the heels of the university’s effort to move to Division II athletics from Division III, a process that began in 2018. The NCAA announced in July 2019 that Frostburg could begin the transition to Division II. The NCAA indicated the transition is a three-year process.


Filed in: Latest Headlines, Outdoors, Sports

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