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West Virginia Gets Major Gift for Performance Center

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West Virginia University is well on its way to building an Athletics Performance Center thanks to a donation from the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust.

The Morgantown university announced Thursday that it received a $10 million gift that will be put toward the performance center, which will be the home for strength and conditioning, training, rehabilitation and nutrition for West Virginia’s Olympic sport programs.

“To build this kind of performance center, we needed a leadership gift as part of our Climbing Higher Campaign,” West Virginia athletic director Shane Lyons said Thursday of the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust’s donation. “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 help serve more than 400 West Virginia student-athletes.

"It is exciting to imagine the future of our Olympic sports thanks to this generous and significant gift," West Virginia 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."

The opportunity to create the performance center opened up in the fall, when West Virginia moved the swimming and diving teams out of the WVU Natatorium and into the aquatic center at the new, $48 million Mylan Park. The Natatorium, which hosted the swim teams since 1975, will be renovated and converted to a multi-level performance center with more than 21,000 gross square feet.

West Virginia believes the performance center will be critical for the baseball, volleyball, gymnastics, rowing, golf, track and field, tennis, rifle, swimming and diving, wrestling and soccer programs.

“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.”

The Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust was founded by Hazel Ruby McQuain, who passed away in 2002 at 93 years old.

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