Maryland Hopes New Facility Allows It To Compete With CFB's Elite
The Univ. of Maryland "aims to keep up" with college football's elite with the soon-to-be-completed $196M Cole Field House project, which "adds more high-end spaces for football, two outdoor fields, resources for other Maryland athletes and a large academic wing," according to Emily Giambalvo of the WASHINGTON POST. The school "expects the football performance center to open in the fall or winter" of '20, with the completion of the academic area "coming a year later." Fundraising for the project, which was initially expected to cost $155M, began in '14, but the "estimated cost rose" to $196M in '17. The university recently asked the BOR for "authorization to spend" an additional $14M because of "higher construction and labor costs." The first floor of the facility will "include a weight room that is 20,000 square feet, about three times the size of Maryland’s current one." The facility will also "include a 4,000-square-foot cardio mezzanine that looks out over the weight room." In addition, an auditorium that "spans two levels will be used for football team meetings and can seat about 195 people" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/16). Maryland AD Damon Evans said, "We're giving our football program all the tools they need to be successful. ... We want to be a premier program, and to be a premier program, you've got to have premier facilities" (BALTIMORE SUN, 9/17).
NEW STRIPES: In Birmingham, Tom Green noted Auburn's BOT "unanimously voted to approve the initiation of a 'Football Performance Center' project on campus." The BOT also "granted final approval" for $9.2M in "renovations to the east-side suites at Jordan-Hare Stadium." Specifics for the former project, including estimated cost, location and design, were "not presented during the Property and Facilities Committee presentation." A preliminary timeline "was not presented" either (BIRMINGHAM NEWS, 9/13). Auburn AD Allen Greene said that fundraising for the building is "off to a strong start" (OPELIKA-AUBURN NEWS, 9/13).