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Wednesday, February 8, 2006
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Marching 110 will soon have permanent practice facility

ATHENS, Ohio (Feb. 8, 2006) -- Through the cooperation of several areas at the university, the most exciting band in the land will soon have a permanent practice site. Ohio University is taking steps for the Marching 110, the university's nationally acclaimed marching band, to practice regularly at Peggy Pruitt Field, located in the Athletic Mall near Bob Wren Stadium.

Lights will be installed when band members return in late summer to prepare for the 2006 football season. Installation of the lights, along with the field's Astroturf 200 brand synthetic surface will offer flexibility, allowing for practices late in the evening and in inclement weather.

Cost of the lights is $185,000 and will be paid with university reserves earmarked for one-time projects.

"In keeping with the spirit of Vision OHIO, the university's strategic plan, this opportunity came together through a cooperative and collaborative effort to meet everyone's needs," Provost Kathy Krendl said. "Intercollegiate Athletics, the Marching 110 and Campus Recreation are working together to share a facility to serve everyone's needs. All groups will have access to the facility through a shared schedule."

The Marching 110 has never had a permanent practice home. Recently, the band practiced near the Visitors Center, across from the Convocation Center, and at a site on West Union Street.

"A university committee identified four possible sites and determined that adding lights to Pruitt Field offers the best solution in terms of providing a suitable practice facility in the most cost-efficient manner," Assistant to the President Alan Geiger said. "This is a cooperative effort across campus, including the College of Fine Arts and Intercollegiate Athletics."

The initiative will benefit the more than 200 members of the Marching 110 who bring national prominence to Ohio University. In addition to performing at Ohio University home football games and other university events, the Marching 110 regularly appears on a national stage. The Marching 110 recently led the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

"Pruitt Field offers an excellent practice facility, and I am grateful for the assistance and support of so many areas to make this a reality," interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts Charles McWeeny said. "The Marching 110 is nationally known for its musical excellence and showmanship. It is fitting that the student-musicians who sacrifice so much to participate have a permanent practice facility."

The university's track and field, women's field hockey and women's lacrosse teams currently use Pruitt Field. Intercollegiate Athletics has cooperated in scheduling two-hour time slots for the Marching 110 to practice, and Campus Recreation will also have opportunities to schedule the use of Pruitt Field for intramural and club sports competitions.

"We are more than happy to make accommodations so that the Marching 110 has a permanent practice site," Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt said. "The marching band and our athletic teams have much in common in that they offer an opportunity for students to display the results of their hard work, dedication and talent. The Marching 110 truly lives up to its well-earned reputation as the most exciting band in the land and is an important part of our football and basketball game."

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Media Contact: Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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