The university is celebrating the grand opening of the Academic and Training Center and Indoor Training Facility today at 1 p.m., after which tours of the two facilities are open to the public.
The buildings, which cost a total of $20 million, were needed to provide additional practice space for CSU’s athletic teams and aid in recruiting future athletes, a spokesperson for the Athletics Department said.
“(Both facilities are) an excellent recruiting tool to bring the best student athletes here,” said Zak Gilbert, director of media relations for the department.
The $7 million Indoor Practice Facility — which is divided into two practice areas, one with artificial turf for the football team and the second that can be arranged to fit either two full-length volleyball courts or two half-basketball courts — will help ease conflicts with practice scheduling in the event of inclement weather, Gilbert said.
He used the example of a practice conflict that arose in December when the football team, while preparing for the 2008 New Mexico Bowl game, was forced into Moby Arena as a result of bad weather.
“The team displaced men’s and women’s basketball teams as well as the NCAA volleyball team,” Gilbert said. “The situation became a nightmare and the (Indoor Practice Facility) was desperately needed.”
The Indoor Practice Facility, located on the corner of Plum Street and Meridian Avenue, is 66,267-square-feet and a maximum of 65-feet high in some places. The building includes:
A 70-yard football field with one end zone,
a four lane 70-meter track,
training room and
The IPF can also be altered to accommodate the softball team with batting cages.
The Academic and Training Center, which comes with a $13 million price tag, was constructed with the goal of assisting athletes with their studies. Totaling 17,000-square-feet, the ATC not only includes a state-of-the-art weight room with strength and conditioning offices but also five private tutoring offices and an expansive study area. A nutrition center and a computer lab with more than 30 workstations are also included.
Molly Prince, a junior art major, said that it is important for the sports programs to have easy access to resources when they are needed. And since the university accommodated her wish for a much-needed parking garage, she said the $20 million for both facilities was appropriate allocation of money.
Many students said they thought the money was well spent and the buildings will benefit the Athletic Department, especially the football team.
News Managing Editor Madeline Novey contributed to this report.
Staff writer Chris O’Toole can be reached at email@example.com.