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O’Reilly Family Event Center Groundbreaking

For immediate release: May 11

Mark Miller
Director of Media Relations, University Communications
Office: (417) 873-7390
Mobile: (417) 839-2886

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., May 11, 2009 — Drury University will break ground on the O’Reilly Family Event Center on Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m. on Hutchens Field.

The Chairman of Drury’s Board of Trustees, John Beuerlein, Drury University President Todd Parnell, Vice-President for Athletics Edsel Matthews, members of the O’Reilly family and other donors and dignitaries will plunge shovels into the earth to officially begin construction of the $13.5 million project that will be home to the Panther and Lady Panther basketball and volleyball teams as well as community events.

Fundraising for the O’Reilly Family Event Center began in December of 2007 with a $6 million naming gift from the O’Reilly family of Springfield. The Drury Board of Trustees gave the go-ahead to begin construction in mid-April. Killian Construction of Springfield will build the arena with opening scheduled for the fall of 2010.

The O’Reilly Family Event Center will seat 3,100 for basketball and volleyball with the ability to expand to around 3,600 seats for concerts and special events.

In addition to the O’Reilly donation, Drury has developed a 20-year agreement with CoxHealth. Through this partnership, CoxHealth will provide sports medicine services by fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons to Drury athletes.

The event center will be built at minimum to Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) specifications. LEED certification means the building will meet certain environmental standards established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The construction of the O’Reilly Family Event Center also provides the opportunity to plan for a new student fitness center. Fundraising will continue for both projects until fully funded by pledges and gifts. Drury and its donors will pay for the entire arena.

Media: You may park in the Hammons School of Architecture parking lot located to the south of Hutchens Field across Central Street. A mult box will be provided to receive audio from the formal podium comments and you will have the opportunity to conduct interviews following the official program. A map showing the location of the ceremony, parking and the entrance is below. If it rains, the event will be moved inside the HPER Center at the north end of Hutchens Field with a brief shovel ceremony outside.

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