SBD/November 13, 2013/Facilities

Univ. Of Arkansas Announces Plans For New $25M Basketball Practice Facility

The Univ. of Arkansas yesterday set a Dec. 7 groundbreaking ceremony for a new $25M basketball practice facility, which will "be the headquarters for all operation components for both the men's and women's basketball teams," according to Dustin Bartholomew of the FAYETTEVILLE FLYER. The new facility will "include two full-court gyms, locker rooms, weight rooms, training rooms, offices, meeting rooms, and more." UA AD Jeff Long said that the facility is "sorely needed, and will serve multiple purposes for the program including possibly freeing up Bud Walton Arena for other purposes." While the facility is not yet fully funded, Long said that it is "time to move forward on the project anyway." Arkansas-based MAHG Architecture and K.C.-based Populous will "lead the design team on the 66,000 square foot facility, and CDI Constructors will serve as the general contractor." The new facility "should be completed" by the summer of '15 (FAYETTEVILLE FLYER, 11/13). In Arkansas, Robbie Neiswanger noted the facility is "part of the three-pronged 'Never Yield' fundraising campaign," which also "includes a baseball/track indoor facility and student-athlete success center." Construction of the baseball/track facility "began earlier this fall." The three projects "carry an estimated price tag" between $45-58M, and the UA Board of Trustees last February "approved plans to issue" $36.5M in bonds to help finance the projects. Long earlier this year said that "drumming up support for the basketball practice facility had been challenging." He said many believed it was a "frivolous spending of dollars" (ARKANSASNEWS.com, 11/12).

UCONN HO! In Hartford, John Altavilla notes UConn is "considering soliciting naming rights for its basketball practice facility, which is expected to cost" between $35-40M and open in the spring of '14. IMG would "solicit corporations to seek interest in those rights." This likely means the venue "won't be named for any of the private donors who contributed to it." If UConn "chooses a corporation, it would be a break in tradition" from some of the other names on campus athletic facilities (HARTFORD COURANT, 11/13).

STAYING CLASSY: In San Diego, Matt Calkins notes San Diego State Univ. yesterday "announced its plans to build a state-of-the-art practice center for the men's and women's basketball teams." The privately funded, $14.5M facility is "projected to be ready-to-use by 2015." The SDSU basketball teams currently share "with the students at the Aztec Recreation Center when Viejas or Peterson Gym is in use." Men's basketball coach Steve Fisher has been "pushing for such a venue since the turn of the millennium" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 11/13).

RAISING CANE: In Miami, Susan Miller Degnan reports the Univ. of Miami is initiating a $7M fundraising effort to "build a lighted artificial turf football practice field, dining hall for athletes and four cold pools for cooling down and recovering after workouts." The project is "being called the Football Victory Fund," and the construction timetable is not yet known (MIAMI HERALD, 11/13).
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