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The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation announced today that it has reached the halfway point in its effort to raise $4.3 million to fund phase two of renovations at the Oshkosh Sports Complex. Thanks to a new investment of $1.5 million dollars by the Oshkosh Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the Foundation has raised $2.1 million to fund the construction of a plaza entrance, renovated and expanded locker rooms, coaching offices, classrooms, an improved softball field, restroom facilities and parking.

“The Oshkosh Sports Complex is already a valuable asset to the community,” said Darryl Sims, UW Oshkosh athletics advancement officer. “Already, thanks to generous gifts, including a $1 million donation from J. J. Keller & Associates, it is a superb facility. However, the improvements resulting from this round of renovations will make the complex one of the nation’s finest for multi-sport use, impacting the quality of the educational experience.”

The complex, which saw $5.5 million in phase one enhancements, currently features the state-of-the-art J.J. Keller Field, a football/soccer field featuring synthetic turf designed to reduce injury. The field is considered to be Wisconsin’s third-most valued behind Lambeau Field and Camp Randall Stadium. Other features include a renovated stadium; softball and baseball fields; and an Olympic-quality outdoor track.

Already the complex has brought national attention to Oshkosh. In 2007, the NCAA held its national Division III men’s and women’s track meets at the facility. Additionally, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) holds conference meets at the complex, and the Fox Valley Association brings student athletes from Appleton, Fond du Lac, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Menasha, Neenah and Oshkosh to the facility for its conference event. Additionally, Oshkosh Lourdes High School hosts its trailways conference competition at the complex.

Based on economic impact models and other projections, it is anticipated the Oshkosh Sports Complex will generate $25 million for the local economy.

The facility is a unique collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the Unified Catholic Schools, the Oshkosh Area School District and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation. The innovative partnership demonstrates how public and private organizations can collaborate to advance and achieve goals while saving taxpayers the expense of constructing and maintaining duplicate athletic facilities and venues.

“Over the years, taxpayers are saving millions due to the nationally unique collaboration between the University and public and private high school and middle schools,” said UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “The collaboration allows student athletes to compete in a safe, world-class facility. With continued support from donors, we are optimistic we will reach our goal by late spring, allowing for construction to begin soon thereafter.

“We are confident that the community will follow through on the great start provided by the Convention and Visitors Bureau,” added Wells. “We also appreciate students for their past support of the project and their willingness to consider future contributions.”

For more information about the Oshkosh Sports Complex, visit http://www.titans.uwosh.edu/OshkoshSportsComplex/.

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