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Eric Peterson, Published March 24 2014

Concordia unveils new upgraded locker room facility

MOORHEAD - Every time Concordia head football coach Terry Horan sees the open space in the middle of the school’s new locker room facility, he smiles.

“We’ve never had this,” Horan said motioning to a large open area where his team can gather. “It’s going to be so nice see our entire team grabbing a knee prior to going out and playing.”

The facility – which costs a little more than $3 million and is 11,560 square feet – was recently completed. The football team will use it for the first time next fall, while some of Concordia’s spring sports will get to use the facility this spring.

“It’s a nice home for the athletes,” Cobbers athletic director Rich Glas said. “It is bigger. It is not crowded. It is a facility they can enjoy spending time at.”

The building is named after Wayne and Beverly Thorson, the lead donors on the project along with Sanford Health and Ron and Karen Offutt.

The facility is the final phase of the “Update The Jake” project, which broke ground in May 2010. The entire project cost around $5.7 million said Larry Papenfuss, the Director of the Concordia Annual Fund and External Relations. Papenfuss said the entire project included more than 400 donors.

“I know how hard our coaches work … so it is nice to be able to reward them,” Papenfuss said.

The new locker room building has a football locker room with more than 130 maroon lockers that feature a yellow bar on top to hold shoulder pads and helmets.

There is a Concordia “C” logo painted on the floor in the middle of the football locker area. Horan said a light will continually shine on that “C.”

“When this place is totally dark, this light will never turn off,” Horan said. “It will always been shining on our ‘C’”

There is a separate locker room area for the women’s soccer team that has around 40 lockers. There is a training room that is around 1,400 square feet and features a large therapy pool. The facility also has a laundry and equipment area that is around 1,500 square feet.

“It’s a first-class facility and we are going to treat first class, too,” Horan said. “There is a lot of pride that is going to start in here this fall.”

Baseball and softball will use the new locker room facility starting this spring. The old football locker room, which was built in 1966, will be used for men’s soccer. Track and field will also use the old locker room.

The old football locker room has less than 80 lockers for a football team that dressed more than 100 players on game days. The freshman and sophomore players used the visiting locker room area during the week and had to clear their stuff out on game days so the opponent could use that area.

“It always bothered me where I would have two different locker rooms,” Horan said. “Now we’re all together.”

The “Upgrade The Jake” project included artificial turf being installed at Jake Christiansen stadium on the baseball infield, and two paved parking areas. Those were some of the main parts of the upgrade.

Glas said the upgrades are important because athletics is an important recruiting tool to draw students to Concordia.

In recent years, Glas said, nearly 40 percent of incoming freshmen were involved with a sports team.

“It’s a large percentage with the freshmen,” Glas said.

The building will have its official dedication during homecoming weekend next fall.

Papenfuss said a wall or monument, using donor bricks, is expected to be built in time for the dedication.

“It will be a great home,” Glas said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found

at peterson.areavoices.com