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Harris family donates $5.5 million for track and field stadium

| Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Robert H. and Mary Ellen Harris have made a gift of $5.5 million to the University for the construction of the Harris Family Track and Field Stadium, a Sept. 17 press release announced.

Robert Harris graduated from the University in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and is the president and chief executive officer of Harris FRC Corp.

“We are grateful to Bob and Mary Ellen Harris for this generous gift that will enable us to make a major advancement in facilities for Notre Dame student-athletes in track and field,” Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick said in the release. “The creation of locker rooms and other team space surrounding the outdoor track will provide a first-class home for our men’s and women’s squads.

“In addition, we hope the future improvements to this facility will make it another wonderful resource for the greater South Bend community, much as the Compton Family Ice Arena has become.”

The new building will house a number of “team support areas,” the release stated, including “student-athlete and coach locker rooms, team meeting and event operations space, a nutrition station and a satellite athletic training area.”

The facility will be built on the west side of the nine-lane outdoor track and field facility in the southeast corner of campus, and construction is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Alan Turner, the Irish track and field head coach, said in the release the new building will contribute to the success of the track and field teams.

“For so many years, we haven’t had any outdoor meets, and we really don’t have great space for locker rooms and team meeting areas, so just having added space and a place to call our own is going to make a world of difference for our program,” Turner said.

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