The UGAAA Board meets today to hear about plans for an indoor practice facility. As this article indicates, it’s been a long time coming.
“The Athletic Association will complete an Indoor Practice Facility behind Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, which will enable football, track and other outdoor sports to practice year-round in a climate-controlled facility. Architectural drawings and schematics are being drawn up now and we have begun securing the necessary funds to begin this project. The initial estimate of the facility is $12 million. Projections for completion have yet to be determined but we are hoping to break ground on this project immediately.”
That statement from UGA regarding a new indoor practice facility was not issued recently. In fact, it was written about 17 years ago. It was included in the Bulldogs’ 1998-99 annual report to donors.
“We had a plan,” Vince Dooley, Georgia’s athletic director at the time, acknowledged this past weekend. “The indoor facility itself was excellent and was just what we wanted.”
Better late than never, I suppose.
McGarity has been hush-hush about it…
“Due to open-records requests, there are no renders or anything other than spoken words,” Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity said. “Open records have changed our approach on projects.”
There will be nothing to see on Tuesday either, McGarity claimed. Those architects are expected to make some sort of presentation to the full board when it meets at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.
… but in any event, it sounds like there won’t be anything more than a discussion of plans.
Finalization is off in the future, but Seth Emerson has heard some chatter about the site.
It is not clear whether the location for the facility will be formally approved, but one site has emerged as a possibility: The area just beyond the existing outdoor practice fields, off of Lumpkin Street, leading up to Stegeman Coliseum.
Other locations had not been ruled out as of last month: An off-campus area off Milledge Avenue, or tearing up one of the existing outdoor fields and building it there. But the location off Lumpkin seems a good compromise, keeping the existing facilities but not having it far from the Butts-Mehre building.
So expect to hear a lot of “it’s moving forward” talk, enough for the coaches to have something to sell to recruits (or at least distract them from the negative recruiting they’ll be getting about how Georgia will soon be the only program in the conference without an IPF).
There’s probably some other talk you can expect to hear soon, too.
The source of the funds could also be revealed Tuesday, although it is expected to be a mix of private and UGA reserve funds, much like the recently completed renovation of baseball’s Foley Field. That could just over $12 million, with $5 million coming through fundraising.
Hey, man, ‘ya gotta help a reserve fund out.