IOWA CITY, Iowa – The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, earlier today approved plans for the second and final phase of a facilities plan for the football program at the University of Iowa that will assist in the recruitment, retention, and performance of its student-athletes.
“This is a very exciting day. This next step in facility improvements for our football program has been part of a master plan launched several years ago with the renovations of Kinnick Stadium and Carver-Hawkeye Arena. This is the next critical step to the plan,” said Gary Barta, the UI’s director of athletics.
“Our goal will always be to compete for championships. We have one of the best coaching staff’s in the country. These facilities are necessary tools to help them reach our goal.”
The Football Operations Facility will connect to the Indoor Practice Facility which is currently under construction immediately west of the UI Recreation Building and is expected to be completed prior to the start of fall practice for the 2012 college football season. The new indoor facility replaces the UI’s “Bubble,” which was deflated last week after 27 years of serving as the indoor practice location for the UI’s football, softball, baseball and golf teams.
The former site of the “Bubble” will become flat surface parking used by UI faculty and staff on work days, and fans of UI football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and wrestling teams on event days.
The timing of the construction of the indoor practice space and the operations facility are necessitated by the construction of the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the construction of a new west campus Cambus hub and associated office and operations space for UI Parking and Transportation.
The operation facility will have two levels. The lower level will include strength and conditioning space, locker rooms for student-athletes and coaches, a lobby and entertainment space that will sport the look and feel of a hall of fame, sports medicine space, and space for equipment distribution and maintenance.
The mezzanine level will include team and position meeting rooms, office space and conference rooms for members of the coaching and administrative staffs, multi-purpose recruiting space, and space for video operations.
The structure of the operations facility will be a steel-framed building designed to create a column-free strength training and conditioning space to enhance safety and future flexibility. The exterior will consist of brick and cast stone similar to the materials used on the exterior of historic Kinnick Stadium.
Construction of the operations facility is expected to begin in earnest next spring and is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2014. The budget for the project is $36.6 million and will be paid for entirely by the UI Athletics Department through the Iowa Football Legacy fund raising campaign and other department revenues. No general University financial support or increased UI student fees will be used as a revenue source for financing the project or to fund its future operation and maintenance.