Construction work is underway on a major renovation of Valley City State University's outdoor track and field facilities at Lokken Stadium. Construction crews began removing the old track surface on Thursday, the first step in rebuilding and resurfacing the 400-meter track over the next few months. The project also includes new throwing cages for field events, and new runways and pits for the jumping events. The bulk of the construction is expected to be completed this summer, and the facility should be fully available for VCSU student-athletes later this fall. The old track was experiencing both surface and subsurface issues, leading to the necessity for a complete renovation. The project will also add to the momentum of VCSU's surging track and field program, which has experienced significant growth in recent years. About 70 student-athletes currently participate in the Viking program, said Jill DeVries, VCSU athletic director. The team set 26 new school records during the 2018 season and had nine national qualifiers and two All-Americans. "The groundbreaking on this project represents a commitment to the needs of the student-athletes at VCSU," said DeVries. "The track and field program has seen tremendous growth and success under head coach Chris Johnson and the new track will improve performance, instill pride, and help us to recruit and retain student-athletes. We look forward to providing our student-athletes the opportunity to compete at home in front of their roommates, fans, and family."Larry Robinson, executive director of the VCSU Foundation, says the project is being completed with private donations. A total of $826,000 has been raised so far and fundraising efforts continue to cover the remaining balance of the estimated $1.2 million project.For more information about the track renovation project, contact the VCSU Foundation Office at 701-845-7203.