The University Athletic Association Board was presented with a proposal today for a facility upgrades plan that includes a new stand-alone football complex and major renovations to the baseball and softball stadiums. This next wave of facility improvements will cost close to $100 million. Added to the $17.5 million football indoor practice facility, the $25 million addition to the Office of Student Life in the Otis Hawkins Center, and the $64.5 million in renovations to the O’Connell Center, the UAA will have committed themselves to roughly $207 million in improvements since January 2015.
Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley calls the project “a commitment to those three programs, those three coaches.” He noted that while opportunities to enhance other facilities were also important, “football, baseball and softball are what we’ve put as our highest priority right now.”
The plan for the new football facility features a locker room, players’ lounge, strength and conditioning area, training areas, meeting and recruiting rooms, coaches’ offices, and general work spaces. The estimated 100,000-square foot facility would be located between the practice fields and the basketball practice facility. A new Gator Dining facility for all student-athletes is also proposed adjacent to the new football complex. Florida’s current football offices would become athletic department offices.
McKethan Stadium, the home of Florida baseball, is included in the renovation plan. The planned improvements include shade structuring, five new rows of premium seating, new club seating, an expanded press box, a second-level concourse and improved player amenities.
The proposed renovations to the softball complex at Seashole Pressly Stadium include replacing the bleachers behind home plate with chair back seating, additional bleachers extending down each foul line to add 750 to 1,000 more seats, an expanded press box, concession and restroom areas, upgraded coaches’ and players’ facilities, and some shade structure.
The construction schedule for the project will be dependent on funding and fundraising efforts. There is presently no funding identified and Foley notes that it will take a combination of bonding and fundraising to make the project a reality. The next step is beginning the on-campus approval process, after which the UAA can solicit bids for the project.
You can view the full photo gallery of the released conceptual designs for the plan here.