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UNT board set to approve indoor practice facility

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Brett Vito, Staff Writer

The North Texas board of regents is expected to approve plans for an indoor practice facility during the group's regularly scheduled meetings this week, when the group will also receive an early glimpse of a facilities master plan for athletics.

That plan includes construction of the indoor practice facility. UNT officials prioritized the venue shortly after Wren Baker took over the program in the summer of 2016.

Plans for the facility have been completed. The 94,000-square foot venue will include a full length football field, a three-land track and support spaces.

The facility is set to be built near the Mean Green Athletic Center at a cost of $18.9 million. A total $7.5 million in gifts is expected to go toward construction that is slated to be completed in July of 2019.

UNT's indoor facility is a key component of the school's overall facilities master plan. The full plan is expected to be unveiled within the next few weeks. The regents agenda includes a preliminary glimpse of those plans that  include short-term priorities as well as mid-term and long-term goals.

Baker set a goal to come up with a comprehensive plan to improve what UNT has to work with in terms of facilities after evaluating what the program has to work with shortly after becoming the school's athletic director.

"We need to be aggressive with facilities," Baker said this summer. "When I came here people would say we have great facilities. I have been in other leagues and other levels. I pretty quickly said we have a great football stadium."

UNT has worked to upgrade its venues since Baker arrived and has renovated venues across campus, including the Mean Green Athletic Center and the Ernie Kuehne Basketball Practice Facility.

The Super Pit is also currently undergoing a renovation to improve its concourses and entrances.

UNT's master plan will detail the next steps the school will take. 

The school's short-term goals include a soccer/track stadium the university recently broke ground on, the indoor facility, an expansion of the Mean Green Athletic Center and upgraded scoreboards.

The plan includes mid-term goals including a baseball stadium to house a new program, while a softball stadium and an indoor tennis facility are among UNT's long-term goals.

FEATURED PHOTO: The North Texas football program has one of the best venues among Conference USA teams and other schools that compete on a similar level in the region in Apogee Stadium. The school's board of regents will consider  a proposal to add an indoor practice facility this week.