The WVU Alumni Association today (Sept. 30) announced plans to build aNew Home for Mountaineerson the Evansdale Campus of West Virginia University. The new alumni center will be located on two acres adjacent to Ruby Memorial Hospitalless than 400 yards from Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium.

The Erickson Alumni Center has been our home for nearly 20 years and has served us well,said James C. Gardill, chair of the WVU Alumni Association Board of Directors.As the University has grown, so has our alumni base. With more than 165,000 graduates worldwide and record enrollment at WVU , the new facility will position the WVU Alumni Association to better meet the changing needs of alumni and friends.

The new alumni center will more than triple the size of the current facility and will feature an outdoor fireplace, terraces, courtyards and meeting facilities. The architecture and design of the new facility is reminiscent of Woodburn Hall and will feature a landmark bell tower, complete with a carillon.

This is truly one of the most important capital projects for the University,said David C. Hardesty Jr., president of West Virginia University.Our new alumni center will enhance student programming, provide additional services for alumni and serve as the home of future generations of Mountaineers.

Charles F. Erickson will serve as honorary building campaign chair for the new facility. The Erickson Alumni Center at WVU is named for his father, the late Charles O. Erickson. Morgantown businessman Glenn Adrian will serve as building campaign chair.

Mr. Erickson is carrying on the tradition of support that his father shared with numerous colleges and universities throughout West Virginia,added Gardill.We are pleased that Charles and Glenn have agreed to be part of this campaign, and we welcome their leadership and involvement as we work together to bring this new building to campus.

Our announcement today is the culmination of the efforts of a great number of people who have worked diligently to bring this project to fruition. We are deeply grateful to our architects, IKM , Incorporated, and my immediate predecessors, James J. Fagan and Judge Irene C. Berger, for their perseverance and deep commitment to this project.

The new alumni center will cost approximately $12 million and will be funded completely through private contributions. All members of the WVU Alumni Associations Board of Directors have made a commitment to the building campaign. The Association, in partnership with the WVU Foundation, Inc., is embarking upon a capital campaign to build the new alumni center with a first priority being major gifts and naming opportunities. The campaign will run through December 2008. Before the end of the campaign, all alumni will have an opportunity to participate in this historic event.

Officials plan to break ground in 2006 with an anticipated completion date of fall 2007.

The WVU Alumni Association, chartered in 1873, represents more than 160,000 University graduates residing in every county in West Virginia, every state in the union and approximately 60 foreign nations. With nearly 100 registered chapters and constituent groups, the Associations 26,000 dues-paying members support Homecoming Weekend, the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni and dozens of other social and philanthropic programs. For more information about the WVU Alumni Association, visit .