Feb. 26, 2014
HOUSTON - Plans for the Houston Basketball Practice Facility moved forward Wednesday with the approval of the total project budget by the University's Board of Regents.
At the Board of Regents' meeting, the Finance Committee approved a $20 million budget, all of which came from private funding, including $5 million during the last three weeks alone. Groundbreaking for the new Practice Facility is expected to be held in May.
"We are grateful to the Board of Regents for its approval of this project and look forward to moving ahead. This will be a tremendous facility and have a great impact on our Men's and Women's Basketball student-athletes' and their continued development in becoming champions for life both on and off the floor," Houston Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades said. "Without question, a facility like this will be an asset to both program's recruiting efforts and will be an effective, teaching tool for our coaches."
When finished, the new Practice Facility will consist of 1.5 courts for each of the Men's and Women's Basketball teams. It also will house locker rooms, team lounges, academic/film rooms and coaching office suites for each program with areas for Sports Medicine and Sports Performance and a nutrition center.
DLR Group and PSP will serve as the facility's architects with DLR Group in the lead role, while Austin Commercial will be the construction manager. DLR Group and PSP previously worked together with the University on the new Houston Football Stadium.
Both the architectural firms and the construction manager were selected through Request for Proposals.
Athletics administrators have held initial meetings with the architects and are reviewing several concepts. The new facility will be approximately 50,000-55,000 square feet and be located adjacent to Hofheinz Pavilion at a site to be determined by University and Athletics administrators and the architects.
No timetable has been set for the completion of the project. However, similar facilities at other schools around the nation have taken 12-18 months to finish.
Once the Practice Facility is completed, the University will turn toward Hofheinz Pavilion. With the construction of the Practice Facility first, the Men's and Women's Basketball programs will have a home in which to practice daily.
This is only the latest project in an ongoing effort for Houston Athletics. During the last five years, Houston Athletics has seen the installation of FieldTurf at Houston Baseball's Cougar Field, construction of new practice fields for the Houston Football team and the Dave Williams Golf Academy at the Golf Club of Houston and will soon enjoy the grand opening of the new Houston Football Stadium for the start of the 2014 season.
The Cougars return to action at 8 p.m., Thursday, when they play host to No. 21/22 Memphis inside Hofheinz Pavilion. It will be the sixth time the Cougars have played a nationally ranked opponent in 2013-14, the most since Houston played seven ranked teams in 1984-85.
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