King University is celebrating the groundbreaking for a new, highly anticipated outdoor track and field complex to be located on the main campus in Bristol.
The facility will be built near the University’s existing outdoor athletic fields. The eight-lane track will feature a high-performance polyurethane surface topped with a seal coat that is designed for shock absorption, and a natural grass area in the center of the track will offer additional practice space for various sports.
“This will be the premier track and field complex in the region, and will provide our student-athletes with an exceptional resource for training and competition,” said David Hicks, athletic director. “We have a strong tradition in cross country and track and field at King, and I look forward to hosting meets on campus and welcoming guests as they come to support our amazing student-athletes.”
In the last 10 years, King student-athletes have brought home five Conference Carolinas women’s cross country championships, including in two of the last three years. The men’s team has also amassed six runner-up finishes at the Conference Carolinas championships and made two appearances at the NCAA Championships. In that same time period, King has won a combined three Conference Carolinas indoor and outdoor track and field championships, boasted four Conference Carolinas Track and Field Scholar-Athletes of the Year, two Academic All-Region honorees, and an Academic All-American.
“We are excited to begin work on this long-anticipated project, which will expand the noteworthy success of our athletic programs and create a premier destination for track and field events in the region and beyond,” said Alexander Whitaker, president of King. “We are thankful for the partners who are contributing to this opportunity, which will benefit all those who exercise, train, and compete here.”
King collaborated with Mattern & Craig Engineers and Surveyors of Kingsport, Tennessee, on concepts for the facility. BurWil Construction of Bristol, Tennessee is serving as the construction partner. Baker’s Construction Services of Piney Flats, Tennessee, is overseeing site preparation. Financing for the project, which has an overall cost of $3.6 million, is made possible by Bank of Tennessee. Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2023.
Surfacing for the track is produced by Beynon. The BSS 300 product is designed to offer professional-level performance, particularly for long-distance runners, and is World Athletics Certified. Other institutions currently utilizing this surface include Harvard University and the University of Utah, among others.
Alumni and friends who would like to make a gift toward the new track and field complex can give here or text KUTRACK to 41444.