The State of Iowa Board of Regents today approved the University of Iowa’s phase two master plan that will improve and upgrade facilities for the football program.
The plan is designed to assist in the recruitment, retention and performance of the school student-athletes.
“This is a very exciting day,” University of Iowa Director of Athletics Gary Barta said. “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.
“Our goal will always be to compete for championships. We have one of the best coaching staffs 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 practice will replace the famous “Bubble,” which was deflated last week after serving as the indoor facility for 27 years. It served as a practice facility for football, baseball, softball and golf.
The former site of the “Bubble” will be turned into a flat surface parking lot 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 new facility was necessary due to the construction of the new University of Iowa Children’s Hospital and the construction of a new west campus Cambus hub associated office and operations space for UI Parking and Transportation.
The operation facility will have two levels. The lower level will feature a strength and conditioning room, 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 extra space for equipment distribution and maintenance.
The top level will feature 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.
Construction of the operations facility is expected to begin next sprin and is anticipated to be completed in the summer of 2014. The budget for the project is $36.6 million and will be paid entirely by the UI Athletics Department through the Iowa Football Legacy fund-raising campaign and other department revenues.
The school said no general university financial support or increased UI student fees will be used as a revenue source for financing the project or to funds its future costs.