Tuesday, March 11, 2003

$10 million gift will help build UC's Varsity Village



By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

A philanthropist has given $10.2 million to the University of Cincinnati to build an athletic complex that includes a baseball stadium, swimming pool and student health center.

BUILDING A VILLAGE
    How it will look
Richard E. Lindner, former owner of the Thriftway supermarket chain, donated the money for the school's Varsity Village athletic facilities project.

The gift, announced Monday, is the largest individual donation for a single project in the university's history.

Construction will begin in April on the village and its athletic center, which will bear Lindner's name.

UC President Joseph Steger called Lindner a quiet benefactor who has helped with worthy causes in the community.

"His support of the University of Cincinnati, especially our athletic programs, is long-standing and his gift will benefit our students far into the future," he said.

Lindner spoke little during the announcement Monday about the university or why he decided to make the gift. He chose, after some emotional moments, to instead thank his philanthropist brothers, Carl and Robert, for their help and financial backing.

The Varsity Village will provide world-class training and facilities for each of the school's 18 varsity sports.

"Varsity Village is a reaffirmation of the university's commitment to have an athletics program which competes on the national level," said UC Athletics Director Bob Goin.

At a glance

Some features of UC's Varsity Village athletic facilities project:

• Construction of a baseball stadium with seating for 3,000 and lights for night games.
• Renovation of track and soccer complex.
• Boathouse and training center for rowing team on Licking River.
• Renovations to Armory Fieldhouse.
• New student recreation center with 50-meter swimming pool, offices for athletic program, coaches and sports medicine facilities.
• New student health service center, with 330-seat auditorium and faculty club.
• FieldTurf to be installed on playing and practice fields.

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E-mail kgoetz@enquirer.com




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