East Central Community College to build $2.6 million football facility

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DECATUR, Miss. (WTOK) - On October 9th, the East Central Community College Board of Trustees approved the funding and plans to develop a $2.6 million dollar football operations center at Bailey Stadium. Currently named Warrior Hall, the facility will be located just outside of the North end zone of Warrior Field.

East Central President, Dr. Billy Stewart, believes the project is consistent with the college’s mission statement.

“We want it to be about becoming the very best we can be, Dr. Stewart said. “Around here we call it the ‘EC way – excellence with class.’ I believe this facility will be an excellent facility. It will be one of a first class facility.”

Funded by private donations and college funds, the facility will house locker and meeting rooms and coaches’ offices among other spaces, including a training room that will be accessible to student-athletes from all sports.

“I think it’s very important for our football program as well as our other intercollegiate sports to be able to have a state of the art facility,” said Director of Athletics, Paul Nixon. “And this is something that will allow us to stay among the best, if not the best in the state in terms of facilities.”

Football coach Ken Karcher believes the facility will allow East Central to become more competitive in the program’s recruitment efforts.

“Well I think it does two things,“ Karcher said. “The first is that it’s going to attract players. Anytime you have a new facility that’s what kids look for and the second thing it does for us is it helps us prepare them better. It allows us to have better classroom work for them rather than running around campus and using a bunch of different classrooms. It’ll have a first-class training room that will be able to help their health. So I think it attracts and prepares.”

The football operations center is just one portion of on-going campus-wide improvements that university administrators feel will enhance the experience of students and student-athletes. For Dr. Stewart, the facility goes beyond football and will be a meaningful addition to campus life.

“And I would say this, if we’re only building this building to win a football game, that is a mighty, mighty low expectation as far as I’m concerned," he said. "What I hope happens is that young men and young women will come to East Central because of this facility and the things that are offered within it and that their lives will be impacted.”

The football operations center will be open in October or November 2019.