Jul 072009
 
Authors: Jessica Cline

The new Indoor Athletic Practice Field and Athletic Academic and Training Building will be finished ahead of schedule and open when classes start at the end of August, Athletics and construction officials confirmed last week.

Construction on these facilities started last summer as a part of the university’s plan to build a top athletic program and be able to compete with the best of the other universities not only in the Mountain West Conference, but in the nation.

“Athletics is a highly visible part of the university,” said Doug Max, associate athletic director. “So (these facilities) will benefit everyone.”

Max was enthusiastic about the new facilities and their progress, both physically and economically as construction is “on budget” thus far.

The Indoor Athletic Practice Field, situated to the east of Moby Arena, is 66,267 square-feet and will house a 70-yard turf football field, a regulation size basketball court, two side-by-side volleyball courts, a four-lane sprinting track and motorized netting for hitting practice for the baseball, softball and golf teams.

Construction officials, coaches and athletes alike agreed the new facility includes all of the equipment and space needed to help CSU’s sports teams to adequately prepare for their seasons.

Anthoney Hill, CSU football running back coach, said the new facilities are needed to improve player training and will help improve recruitment.

“Every university should be trying to better itself, and we were at the point that we needed that to happen,” Hill said. “You have to be able to keep up with everyone else, and you have to be proactive.”

The Athletic Academic and Training Building, located southwest of Moby Arena, is 17,307 square-feet and features a study area, computer lab, tutoring and study rooms, a state-of-the-art weight room with brand new equipment and offices for academic staff.

This area will give student-athletes a quality learning environment where they can focus on school and juggle their schoolwork around practices and games. The new building also doubles the size of the current weight room located in Moby.

“In the past, not having these facilities was very problematic at times,” Max said. “Before, when the weather was bad, we did not have enough practice space to accommodate all of our teams.”

Together the two buildings cost $20 million – the indoor practice field cost $13 million and the Athletic and Training Center cost $7 million – and were paid for through the bond sales.

The majority of the almost $400 million in capital construction underway on campus is funded by multi-million dollar loans – bonds the university is mandated to repay within 30 years – from large investment corporations on Wall Street.

Both projects were planned before the start of the recession as a part of stretch goals set for the whole university. And this timing proved to be an advantage.

“I can tell you we are getting a lot of value for our money as contractors are giving us much more competitive prices than/we had first estimated,” said Brian Chase, director of Facilities Management. Chase attributed the savings to cuts in contractors’ and suppliers’ costs as a result of the recession.

“So not only are we creating jobs in Fort Collins that are badly needed,/we are getting great value/for the money we are spending,” Chase said.

Staff writer Jessica Cline can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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