With ceremonial toss of dirt, Corban University starts on new sports complex

Tobi Adeoye, Corban University student body president, speaks to supporters at the groundbreaking on Friday, April 30, for Corban University’s new athletic complex. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Corban University is on the way to a new outdoor athletic complex, located on the north side of campus.

The private university, at 5000 Deer Park Dr. S.E., on Friday, April 30, hosts a groundbreaking to launch construction on the complex’s initial phase, set to be completed this fall.

This $4 million project includes a state-of-the-art track and field complex, competition turf field, field lighting, and improved drainage.

“This project has been long coming, and this will be a game-changer for all student-athletes, as well as other students who want to exercise, play intramural sports, and engage in other outdoor activities that demand good drainage and lights,” says University President Sheldon Nord.

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett emphasized that athletics play a huge role in the region. The new facility is a “fantastic new beginning” and will have a “tremendous impact on our community,” he added.

“I’m so appreciative of all those who have gone before me who have worked hard to make this happen,” said Sue Roth, Corban’s athletic director. “This athletic complex will be such a gift to our student-athletes, as well as the whole Corban and Salem community.”

At the event, Nord honored Coach Norm Burney with the Endurance Award. 

“He has run with endurance. He is so much more than a coach,” Nord said. “He’s been a mentor, a discipler, a parent figure for some of our athletes, and a strong representative for Christ and of Corban. “

Corban University’s complex the university’s ability to host high school competitions, club practices, regional and state tournaments, youth camps, and community events. Students and community members will be able to support Corban athletics at home games on-campus for the first time in the history of Corban’s track and field and women’s Lacrosse programs.

Men’s and women’s soccer will return to campus for competitions after many seasons hosting home games at other rented facilities.

The university is continuing work to raise the final $1.6 million for future additions to the complex, including fields for baseball, softball and soccer practice. For more information, go to connect.corban.edu/campaign/outdoor-athletic-complex.

Salem Mayor Chuck Bennett speaks to supporters at the groundbreaking on Friday, April 30, for Corban University’s new athletic complex. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)An artist’s rendering shows Corban University’s new athletic complex. The university held a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday, April 30.

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing regularly for Salem Reporter. During the quarantine, she will be connecting with Salem nonprofits. Reach her at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook.

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