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SIUE, Sunset Hills Country Club open Gallatin indoor facility

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville celebrated the new Harry Gallatin SIUE Golf Practice Facility with a ribbon-cutting Tuesday at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville.

The indoor practice facility is named in honor of legendary SIUE coach and supporter, the late Harry Gallatin, who envisioned a first-class facility that would increase student-athlete training opportunities.

The development cost approximately $500,000. The 1,840-square-foot facility includes three indoor hitting bays, a golf training simulator room, an indoor putting surface and the ability to open the doors to hit out into a redeveloped driving range.

Having jumped into the project near its end as he moved into Cougar Athletics in August, SIUE Director of Athletics Tim Hall focused on the power of togetherness and putting others before ourselves. “Being surrounded by people from different backgrounds makes a tremendous difference in projects like these,” he said. “People coming from different backgrounds, finding a way to say yes to a project and initiative that is going to benefit so many going forward, and knowing that with collaboration, the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. I take great satisfaction that my wife and family have moved into a community that is so caring, where partnering for mutual benefit is not an outlier, but the norm.”

SIUE Men’s Golf Coach Derrick Brown emphasized the immediate impact the facility will have on his student-athletes, as it will expand their ability to train year-round and amplify their advancement as a nationally recognized team.

“This new facility will provide the tools for our student athletes to continue to grow and develop their games, but most importantly throughout the winter months,” Brown said. “I want to thank the many people at SIUE and Sunset Hills CC who helped make this project a reality. Coach Gallatin was a wonderful man, coach and supporter of our program and our team will be proud to practice in the Harry Gallatin SIUE Practice Facility.”

“I am incredibly happy with this project, not only for what it provides for our club and the University, but also because of what it represents,” said Sunset Hills Country Club President Cory Darr, CPA. “It shows that our community can work together to accomplish great things and to make dreams happen. It will serve as a guide for future projects and partnerships, and I am extremely proud of that.

“I am excited to see the new facility and the new range in 2020, and can’t wait for the team and the members to see it all come together. These are exciting times for our community and this, along with all of the construction and additions to our area, are fantastic to see.”

“This project is a fantastic example of how community/university partnerships can benefit our area. We hope it can serve as a model for other possibilities in the future,” said SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook. “The facility will be a wonderful recruiting asset and allow our golf team members to practice year-round to maximize their skills. I want to thank so many individuals at Sunset Hills Country Club who were part of these discussions, and Corey Darr specifically, for the commitment that brought this project to fruition.”

Major donors who have contributed 100 percent of the project’s construction costs include John Simmons, Tom Allen, and Mike and Corey Wenzel. Other significant backers are Bev and Harry Gallatin, TheBANK of Edwardsville, the Lukas Family, and the SIUE Foundation along with in-kind contributors Tom Cissell, Alan Grammer and Dale Keller.

“We’re here today on this cold winter morning to dedicate this facility in honor of a great man, exceptional athlete, husband, father of three, teacher, coach and mentor to many,” said Jim Gallatin. “Anyone who spent time with my dad grew to understand his honest, candid nature and fiercely competitive spirit. He was both a professional and a champion in sport and in life.

He would consider this facility to be a fitting tribute, a functional cooperative effort, designed to allow many others the opportunity to develop their talents, their drive to compete, and their potential in both golf and life.”

Oates and Associates, of Collinsville, is the design firm for the project, while Limbaugh Construction Co. Inc., of Granite City, is the contractor.

PHOTO: Bev Gallatin cuts the ribbon at the dedication of the new Harry Gallatin SIUE Golf Practice Facility at Sunset Hills Country Club in Edwardsville.

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