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Virginia State thinking big … but down the road

It’s 3-4 years away from even starting the project but Virginia State is dreaming of a major faclity that might propel their athletic programs to the Division I level.
At Virginia State, they are daring to dream big these days. The Petersburg, VA based school has about 5,000 students and competes at the NCAA Division II level.  This week, however, they announced plans for a $70 million, 7,500 seat convocation center that would serve as their baskletball home. In addition, the school said it would intend to bid for state tournaments and look at moving up to D-I as early as the 2012-13 season.

Most home games are played at Daniels Gym on the school’s Ettrick, VA campus.

This all came to pass because the Virginia State Assmebly authorized $44 million to VSU for  facilities. That is not enough by itself but it is a significant head start. The school has said it could authorize $19 million for the project. That is getting close to the mark needed.

It’s still a few years away from the start of actual construction but VSU athletic director Peggy Davis said, "The proposed convocation center will mark a new era in VSU athletics. Once completed, it will be the largest basketball arena in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and comparable to any Division I venue in the nation. Just as important, it also marks growth and progress at Virginia State University. It’s a very exciting time for Trojan athletics."

Currently, the school holds major events — like an annual game with Virginia Union  and grasduation ceremonies– off campus at Richmond Coliseum.