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The Story

Funding a Vision

The Carl & Cheryl Hughes Fieldhouse project represents the single largest public-private partnership in Northwest’s 113‐year history and one of the largest such projects in the region ever. The cost to build and equip the facility is estimated at $18,775,000 and estimated total costs for the project, including estimated financing costs, is $21,075,000. A third-party economic impact study reported the Hughes Fieldhouse could provide an additional economic development impact of $23.8 million, the equivalent of creating 946 new jobs, for the region.

Community support was achieved through a November 2016 ballot initiative that created a transient guest tax to assist with the construction and operation of the complex and a tourism committee to promote community-wide tourism events and the comprehensive marketing of Maryville. The committee will seek to maximize use of the Hughes Fieldhouse and continue momentum in Maryville and expand partnerships.

In May 2017, the Northwest Board of Regents approved the facility to be named for the Carl and Cheryl Hughes family, who committed a significant gift to the project through the Hughes Family Foundation, of which Carl Hughes is president and Cheryl Hughes is vice president. Carl Hughes, who also serves as a member of the  Northwest Foundation Board of Directors, is a 1976 alumnus of the University; Cheryl Hughes is a 1978 alumna.

Donors have committed about $14 million to the project through pledge agreements secured by the Northwest Foundation and led by a “Founding 50” team of lead donors who have committed gifts of $50,000 or greater to the project.

In addition to University support, in April 2017, the Northwest Board of Regents approved student-approved fees to enhance recreational programming, including club sports, intramurals, recreation center facility enhancements, programming and operations at the new facility, and the  Mozingo Outdoor Education Recreation Area – a 320-acre parcel of land at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park – for student engagement and leadership development. The University and its student-based funding is addressing $7.5 million in funding for the project.


This is a fabulous building. But I think you should know this didn’t start out very easy, but we did what Bearcats do, we went to work. In that Founding 50, there are small business people, farmers, retired people, alumni, teachers, professors. They motivate a lot of us. They motivated us to do what we’ve done. I want to thank our family foundation. We created this several years ago to make an impact and make a difference. I kinda think we’ve done that.

Carl Hughes '76
President, Hughes Family Foundation

Carl Hughes '76