This story made a splash on Monday before the quarterback news sucked all of the oxygen from the room, but it is a more important long-term story for the program. The athletic board approved a $30.2 million plan for a multi-use indoor facility adjacent to the Butts-Mehre building. “The facility will be 80 yards wide, 140 yards long, 65 feet high inside and 75 feet high outside.” It won’t be just a football facility; there will be areas for batting cages and track.
The cost of the facility is expected to be split between private donations (fundraising) and athletic department funds. Construction could begin as soon as the 2015 football season ends, but an anticipated 100 days of site preparation work makes it unlikely for the facility to be ready before January 2017.
The athletic department released some renderings to give us an idea of the location and footprint. Some impressions:
- The large event room / 20-yard turf walkthrough area that was part of the recent $40 million Butts-Mehre expansion will be replaced by the new facility.
- The facility will be constructed on the grass practice fields on the southeast corner of the football complex.
- Replacing the multi-purpose room of the Butts-Mehre building allows the facility to slide to the south which will preserve the two lower artificial turf practice fields along Smith Street across from Stegeman Coliseum. This is important since construction will likely continue through the 2016 regular season. Practice field space will be at a premium during construction.
- It’s tough to tell, but it seems as if there might be room for a grass practice field between the new facility and the track complex. Since most of Georgia’s games will be played on grass and outdoors, having at least one outdoor grass practice field would be nice, no?