May 12, 2008
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Southern Illinois University, the SIU Foundation and Saluki Athletics are pleased to announce that the Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center has pledged $500,000 toward the Saluki Way athletic facilities project that will feature a new 15,000-seat football stadium, renovation of SIU Arena and construction of a 56,000-square foot arena addition.
Since August of 2005, SIOC has been the primary provider for Saluki student-athlete orthopedic treatment. SIOC, with offices in Carbondale and Herrin, staffs all Saluki football games and attends other athletics events, as well.
"The Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center is the gold standard for orthopedic care, and we deeply appreciate their comittment to the health and excellence of our student athletes," said Saluki Director of Athletics Mario Moccia. "Now, they've stepped up in a big way to support Saluki Way, and we are excited and thankful for their generosity."
The Saluki Way project continues to move forward, with architects currently finalizing the drawings, and site work on the tennis courts and relocation of the recreation fields expected to take place in the fall. Ground-breaking on the new facilities will take place next year and is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2010-11 seasons.
"Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center and its partner Southern Illinois Healthcare view the Saluki Way project as a major step forward in maintaining the excellent national image of Southern Illinois University," said SIOC's Dr. John Wood. "Our top-level athletic programs need top-level facilities. We are honored to assist."
Added Dr. Treg Brown, ""We have developed long-term, strong friendships with the coaches and leaders of Saluki Athletics and see this venture as an excellent investment in the future of Southern Illinois University."
Saluki Way has an estimated $83 million price tag, and Rickey N. McCurry, the vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU Foundation, said SIU had secured nearly 80 percent of the necessary funding.
"The Southern Illinois Orthopedic Center stepped up in a big way," McCurry said. "This gift demonstrates a strong desire to make Saluki Way a reality. SIOC is a longtime supporter of SIU Carbondale. We are truly appreciative and grateful for the group's ongoing commitment to this institution."
Several of the doctors at SIOC said they were moved to contribute to the project out of loyalty and admiration for the University.
"We are very proud of our relationship with SIU and Saluki Athletics and are appreciative of what the University provides to all the communities in our region," said Dr. Tom Davis. "This is just SIOC's way of giving back."
Dr. Bob Golz continued that theme, saying, "We have some big fans of Saluki athletics in our organization, and we are anxious to see this project become reality.SIU provides so much to our area from great academics, arts and entertainment to nationally ranked athletics. We are delighted to do our part."
Dr. Mike Davis hopes SIOC's involvement will stimulate more giving to Saluki Way.
"This project will be beneficial to the University as a whole, and we urge any healthcare organization to consider helping fund this project," Davis said. "Every healthcare provider in southern Illinois has benefitted in some way from Southern Illinois University."