HOUSTON - University of Houston Men's and Women's Basketball coaches and student-athletes celebrated a milestone in the construction of the teams' Development Center with a Topping Off Ceremony on Thursday afternoon.
The Cougars enjoyed lunch with personnel from Austin Commercial and design team members from DLR Group and PAGE at the construction site.
In Topping Off ceremonies, workers celebrate that the highest point of the structure has been established. While work remains on the interior finish and mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, the building's highest point has been finished. More than 35,000 work hours have been recorded by Austin Commercial to reach the approximate halfway point of the project. The facility is expected to open this fall.
Fans can keep up with the construction progress, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, through this webcam.
Following lunch, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades, Men's Basketball head coach Kelvin Sampson and Women's Basketball head coach Ron Hughey thanked all the workers for their efforts and hard work.
Sampson said he has enjoyed returning to campus from recruiting trips to see the amount of work done on the Development Center in the few days he was away.
HOUSTON BASKETBALL DEVELOPMENT CENTER
The 53,000-square-foot facility cost $25 million to build and will consist of three levels. The first level includes a dedicated practice court for each program with shared sports medicine and sports performance areas.
The second level will house team areas, including locker rooms and academic/film rooms with the third level designated for Men's and Women's Basketball coaching and support staffs.
ATHLETICS CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
This is only the latest capital improvement for Houston Athletics in recent years. TDECU Stadium, the $125 million home of Houston Football, opened last August, while administrators recently announced $1.5 million plans to renovate Tom Tellez Track at Carl Lewis International Complex.
Houston Football also saw the renovation of two practice fields, while Cougar Field - the home of Houston Baseball - saw a turf field installed. Houston Softball's locker room underwent renovations, and the home of Houston Men's and Women's Golf recently added the Mike and Pat Booker Short Game Facility at Golf Club of Houston in nearby Humble, Texas.
Fans can receive the latest news and notes by following @UHCougarMBK and @UHCougarWBBon Twitter. Fans also can discuss the latest news and notes on the teams' Facebook pages by clicking LIKE at HoustonCougarMensHoops and HoustonCougarWomensBasketball.