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Johnson Memorial Health announced Monday it will commit $1 million to building a new indoor athletics facility at Franklin College.

The Johnson Memorial Health Athletics Annex will support all of the college’s sports programs, President Kerry Prather said in an email to students. The plan is to build the annex on the southwest corner of Park Avenue and Second Street on campus.

The annex will include retractable batting cages for the baseball and softball teams and a similar area for men’s and women’s golf. The facility will also hold a second weight room.

Franklin College’s indoor athletic facilities currently include Spurlock Center, home to the only weight room on campus, and the Fitness Center. The college does not have a natatorium for the swimming and diving teams, who continue to practice at Franklin Community High School.

The college’s last expansion of its athletics facilities included the addition of the tennis, softball and track and field outdoor venues in Grizzly Park in 2011, as well as a recent renovation of Stewart “Red” Faught Stadium.

In the email, Prather said the new annex will address “an urgent need to support our 21 men’s and women’s sports programs, which are critical to the life of our campus and to our strategy for continued enrollment growth.”

“We look forward to continuing to expand our partnership with Johnson Memorial Health in the years ahead,” Prather said. “We are grateful to share this community with such an outstanding health care facility and staff.”

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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