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Drury breaks ground on O'Reilly arena as new donor revealed

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Drury University broke ground Friday on the O'Reilly Family Event Center and revealed that Springfield's Pitt family has donated $600,000 to pay for the center's Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design Gold certification.

The 65,000-square-foot center will be the first Gold LEED-certified arena in the country, according to a Drury news release. The Pitt family - which includes actor Brad Pitt and local businessman Doug Pitt - made the donation in honor of their father, William A. Pitt. The playing surface of the 3,100-seat arena will be named the William A. Pitt Court.

The original arena design called for a minimum of Silver LEED certification. Features will include low-flow water fixtures, a dedicated recycling area and a solar-reflective roof and pavement materials, the release said.

The $13.5 million arena will be adjacent to Weiser Gymnasium and will be used for sporting events, cultural events, speakers, performances and graduations. It will be the headquarters for Drury athletics and will feature the Drury Sports Hall of Fame.

Springfield's O'Reilly family donated the lead gift for the project - $6 million - and the remaining cost will be covered by a $1 million matching grant from the Mabee Foundation, Drury and Drury donors, according to the release.

Killian Construction is the project contractor and H Design is the designer. Completion is scheduled for August 2010.[[In-content Ad]]

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