When the Rebel Road Trip made its Tupelo stop a couple of weeks ago Ole Miss athletics director Ross Bjork said the school’s capital campaign was roughly $10 million away from having the $120 million he hopes to secure before beginning work on the bowling in of the north end zone of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
Bjork said he’s hopeful the money can be raised and that work can begin on the stadium after this season. If not, work would begin after the 2015 season.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze on Wednesday said he’s confident in the approach of the UMAA Foundation team trying to secure the funds.
“We’ve made a lot of progress. I’m confident they have a great plan in place. They’re working hard on that, and hopefully it will fall right in line. I know my strengths and weaknesses and rarely get involved in those discussions,” Freeze said.
When Freeze took the job following the 2011 season he said the first priority was improving the indoor practice facility which has since been named the Manning Center.
“When I first got here I was very vocal that the first thing we needed to do was what we’ve done with the $15 million in renovations with the new locker room, the nutrition center, the weight room, team room and those things. That was the priority for me over the stadium.”
With those enhancements in place it’s time to focus on the stadium, Freeze said.
“Now we’re at a point where the stadium is the next thing on the agenda. It just adds to the fact that we’re moving forward as a program and an athletic department. There are great signs that point to everyone what’s really occurring here.”