HOUSTON - As the University of Houston Department of Intercollegiate Athletics continues its capital improvements in all sports programs, Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades along with Men's Basketball Head Coach Kelvin Sampson and Women's Basketball Head Coach Ronald Hughey unveiled renderings of the new Basketball Development Facility on Tuesday.
Designed by DLR Group and Page, the new Development Facility will be located adjacent to Hofheinz Pavilion at the corner of Cullen Boulevard and Holman Street on the UH campus. Construction on the $25 million facility will begin this week and is expected to be completed by August 2015.
Austin Commercial will be the construction manager. Other trailers supporting the project have already been placed near Hofheinz Pavilion off Cullen Boulevard with fencing surrounding the site.
"We are committed to improving facilities in all our sports programs, and we are pleased to take this first step with our Men's and Women's Basketball programs," Rhoades said. "With their own dedicated training space and the comforts of new team and academic rooms, our Men's and Women's Basketball student-athletes will continue to develop into outstanding competitors on the court and outstanding leaders in the classroom."
"I am proud and grateful that our administration recognizes how important this is. UH Chancellor/President Dr. (Renu) Khator and Mack Rhoades have made a commitment to make our program better. When you are playing in a conference with the defending national champion and other tradition-rich programs, we need to have competitive advantages like this facility will provide," Sampson said. "Teams become better from October to March. For players to get better, it has to be from March to October. We will have a place where our players can practice, workout, shoot, develop chemistry and improve their work ethics. They can do this, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with this facility."
"I am really excited about the Development Facility, but I am more excited about the commitment and the confidence that Dr. Khator, our athletics administration and the entire student body have shown with us," said Women's Head Coach Ron Hughey, who enters his first season with the Cougars in 2014-15. "We want to show our student-athletes that we are willing to give them the best facility to develop their games and the best place for their home away from home. This opens endless possibilities with the recruits that we can bring in. This is the mecca of Chasing Greatness."
The 53,000 square-foot facility will provide the environment that the Houston Men's and Women's Basketball student-athletes need to excel throughout the season in all areas. The first level will house a dedicated practice court for each team as well as sports performance and sports medicine areas, which will be used by both programs.
The second level will feature the teams' areas, which include locker rooms and academic/film theaters. The team rooms contain spacious, modern lockers, multiple video screens for television and comfortable furniture. The third level will hold office space for both Men's and Women's Basketball coaching and support staffs.
This is not the first time that Houston Athletics has worked with DLR Group and Page. Those two companies teamed as the architects for Houston Football's TDECU Stadium
ATHLETICS CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS
The Basketball Development Facility is the latest capital improvement by the Athletics Department during the last six years. TDECU Stadium, the new $120 million home of Houston Football, officially opened its doors in late August.
Cougar Field, home of Houston Baseball, saw a synthetic turf field installed for the 2014 season, while Houston Softball's locker room recently was upgraded. The Houston Football practice fields were reconfigured with a new synthetic turf field prior to the 2013 training camp, and the Dave Williams Golf Academy was built next to the driving range at Golf Club of Houston in Humble, Texas.
BUY MEN'S SEASON TICKETS
Season ticket packages start for as low as $99 for 17 regular-season home games inside Hofheinz Pavilion. The Memorial Hermann Family Plan, which includes two adult and two kids' season tickets, can be purchased for only $399 for the entire 17-game home schedule.
Fans can purchase season tickets online by visiting UHCougars.com and following the appropriate links or by visiting uhcougars.com/mbbtickets. To view a map of Hofheinz Pavilion with season ticket pricing, fans can click here.
To purchase tickets in person, fans can visit the Athletics Ticket Stadium Office located on the northeast corner of TDECU Stadium, just outside of Gate 1 off Cullen Boulevard. Parking is available in the TDECU Stadium parking garage with the first 30 minutes free of charge. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m., to 5:30 p.m.
All UH main campus students are admitted FREE to regular-season Men's Basketball home games with a valid student ID.
Under Sampson's leadership, the Cougars will play host in showdowns against defending NCAA national champion UConn, defending American Athletic Conference champion Cincinnati, SMU, Memphis, Rice and more.
Eight teams on Houston's schedule - UConn (32), Cincinnati (27), Harvard (27), SMU (27), Memphis (24), Murray State (23), Boise State (21) and Tulsa (21) - won at least 20 games a year ago with five of those - UConn, Harvard, Memphis, Cincinnati and Tulsa - competing in the NCAA Tournament.
BUY WOMEN'S SEASON TICKETS
Fans can take the first step toward the 2014-15 Houston Women's Basketball season by placing deposits with the Athletics Ticket Office at UHCougars.com or by clicking here. The deposit is not a fee and will go toward the cost of season tickets.
Under Hughey's leadership, the Cougars will play 11 contests against teams who qualified for NCAA postseason play a year ago with eight of those from American Athletic Conference rivals.
ABOUT DLR GROUP
DLR Group is an interdisciplinary design firm providing architecture, engineering, planning and interior design from offices coast-to-coast and in China. Its promise is to elevate the human experience through design. This promise inspires sustainable design for a diverse group of public and private sector clients; local communities; and our planet. DLR Group fully supports the initiatives and goals of the 2030 Challenge and is an initial signatory to the AIA 2030 Commitment.
With roots extending back to 1898, Page provides architecture, interiors, consulting and engineering services throughout the United States and around the world. The firm's diverse, international portfolio encompasses the healthcare, academic, government and science and technology sectors, as well as civic, corporate and urban housing projects. Page has more than 425 employees and offices in Austin, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Washington, D.C. Learn more at pagethink.com.
ABOUT AUSTIN COMMERCIAL
Austin Commercial is a subsidiary of employee-owned Austin Industries. Founded in 1918, Austin Industries is one of the nation's largest, most diversified construction companies. With over 6,000 employee-owners, Austin is among the largest construction managers in the nation and ranks 26th on ENR's list of the 100 largest CM at Risk Contractors in the United States. Austin has maintained a Houston presence since the 1920s, and has consistently delivered over $350 million of revenue annually in our area for the past 15 years.
Operating primarily in the southern half of the United States, Austin has an average annual volume of over $1 billion. Austin Commercial serves customers in advanced technology, aviation, corporate build-to-suit, industrial and manufacturing, interiors, healthcare, hospitality, office and high-rise, public and institutional, retail, sports, and university markets. Our firm prides itself in delivering exceptional service on large, highly complicated projects with particular emphasis on qualified teams and performance.