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$50 Million Athletic Facilities Upgrade Begins

SportsSummer 2008  |  Share This  |  E-mail  |  Print  | 
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It’s official. Vanderbilt is putting its money where its athletic needs are. In a continuing effort to raise the level of sports competition, the university has announced a five-phase, multimillion-dollar renovation and building program.

The project has received enthusiastic support from across the university. John Ingram, MBA’86, is a member of the Vanderbilt Board of Trust and chairs the board’s athletics committee. “We want our coaches to understand that we want them to win championships,” he said at a May 20 press conference. “Success is not a linear thing; it’s a circle. In the past five to 10 years, we have changed the image of Vanderbilt from one of lovable losers to serious contenders.”

The planned renovations and construction will put Vanderbilt’s facilities on par with the best in the SEC. “We’re in a little bit of an arms race in this thing we call facilities,” notes Head Men’s Basketball Coach Kevin Stallings. Good facilities are good draws for prospective athletes, and the athletes spend a lot of their time in the locker room. “What you remember as a player is the time you spend with your teammates.”

“We’ve been good at times, and we want to go to the next level and be great,” says Head Women’s Basketball Coach Melanie Balcomb. “We needed the next level in facilities.”

“This is a vote of confidence in our programs,” says Head Football Coach Bobby Johnson. “When you invest, you give the teams at Vanderbilt a chance to compete.”

Total estimated cost for the upgrades is upwards of $50 million. David Williams, vice chancellor for university affairs and student athletics, says each phase will be completed as money is available. If all goes as planned, the entire project could be completed by 2013. “This is a self-funded operation,” says Williams. “We have to raise money for it. If we tried to do it all at once, that would actually impede our programs.”

Phase I began in April. A summary of all five planned phases follows:

Phase I: $11 million-$12 million

• Memorial Gym basketball locker rooms
• Vanderbilt Stadium facility renovation
• Hawkins Field Baseball Stadium expansion to 3,700 seats
• Football synthetic surfaces at the John Rich Practice Facility and Wedgewood Recreation Field

Phase II: $11 million-$12 million

• McGugin Center renovation: construction of the Vanderbilt Athletics Hall of Fame, renovation of position and team meeting rooms for football, and renovation of the athletic training room
• Vanderbilt Stadium Renovation, including rebuilding of Gates 2 and 3, construction of an exterior facade along Natchez Trace, and development of a plaza in front of Gate 2

Phase III: $7 million-$8 million

• Vanderbilt Stadium renovation of Gates
1 and 4 in north end zone of the stadium and construction of a plaza area
• McGugin Center renovation to support staff of the Stratton Foster Academic Center area, and renovation to football coaches’ offices, support staff offices and coaches’ locker rooms

Phase IV: $16 million-$18 million

• Vanderbilt Stadium construction of north end zone building and seating, and addition of synthetic turf in the stadium
• McGugin Center renovation of the football locker rooms, equipment rooms and athletic training room; Olympic sport locker rooms and meeting rooms constructed on second floor

Phase V: $1 million-$2 million

• McGugin Center renovation and expansion of Hendrix Room dining facility; addition of offices and suites

 

© 2014 Vanderbilt University

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Sam Nacknam says:

Why don’t we spend more money on academics? It’s especially troubling to see so much money going towards athletics when our athletics teams are horrible. I am an engineering student who is struggling to get some funding for an engineering research project. While Vanderbilt won’t dish out a thousand dollars for an academic project, they will spend 50 million to upgrade the athletic facilities. We will never compete academically IV league schools if we do not prioritize our spending.


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