Averett, Danville Public Schools Hold Groundbreaking for New Track and Field Facility

Posted on March 23rd, 2022 by Matt Bell

DANVILLE, Va. — Averett University and the Danville Public Schools held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for a new track and field facility, which will be the home to Averett’s recently announced men’s and women’s track and field programs.

Averett has partnered with Danville Public Schools in a lease arrangement for joint use and operation of the track facility, which also will be used by local high school and middle school athletes. The facility will be housed on the campus of George Washington High School, which is located several blocks away from Averett’s Main Campus.

“This public-private relationship to develop this track is yet another way in which Averett works with Danville Public Schools, a partnership that will ensure the development of competitive student-athletes who will now have access and opportunity throughout their educational journey,” Averett President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks said. “In December, Averett announced the addition of varsity men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field programs, which will begin competition during the 2022-23 academic year, also when the University will join the esteemed Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).”

Meg Stevens, Averett vice president, director of athletics and campus operations, joined Danville Superintendent Dr. Angela Hairston ’85 and other members of the community in a ceremony Tuesday at GW’s J.T. Christopher Stadium to celebrate the start of the new track and field project, which will include an NCAA-compliant eight-lane track and is slated to be completed this fall.

“We wanted to support a home track for Averett University as they announced their track program,” said Hairston, an Averett alumna. “We wanted this partnership more than ever because we knew that our students over here — our track students — needed to see positive advancement. They needed to see a collegiate program right in their backyard and have the influence of collegiate athletes.”

Stevens added that the exposure to a collegiate track and field program to local K-12 students will help them understand that there are opportunities beyond high school, whether at Averett —their hometown university — or elsewhere.

“Today, for Averett, this track makes a big difference,” Stevens said. “This is what a true community partnership looks like. It’s a great day for our region. It’s a great day for the City of Danville. It’s a great day for Danville Public Schools. And it’s a great day for Averett University.”

Averett’s addition of men’s and women’s track and field teams expands Averett’s number of varsity NCAA programs to 21 in addition to the three varsity club sports offered by the University. Averett’s track and field programs will compete in the ODAC, the Cougars’ new conference beginning in July 2022. Averett will be one of 13 institutions that sponsor track teams within the ODAC.

“On the athletics front, this track and this partnership has allowed Averett to continue to grow its athletics footprint,” Stevens said. “We’re excited about the future. We can’t thank everyone enough for making this possible because in the long run, what’s great for Danville is great for Averett. And what’s great for Averett is great for Danville. We are so proud to partner with our city schools.”