UMass Basketball Champions Center Construction To Begin In Early August
July 29, 2013
AMHERST, Mass. - The area of Commonwealth Ave. on the University of Massachusetts campus is about to get a little busier as construction of the UMass Basketball Champions Center is set to get underway.
The construction fence will be put in place early next week with site prep work ongoing throughout August. Additionally, the existing intramural field light towers within the facility footprint will be removed during the coming weeks.
The facility is scheduled to be completed by Fall 2014 and will give both the men's and women's basketball programs a dedicated practice and training facility. At $28.5 million, it will be a 53,000 square foot complex that will be the new home for the UMass basketball programs daily operations.
The ground floor will consist of the primary player development areas of the facility. In addition to the two full-size practice courts, the lower level will house the player's lounge and locker rooms, the sports medicine and weight rooms, theater-style film room, dining area, laundry facilities and equipment storage
A Legacy Hall dedicated to the tradition and history of both programs will run the length of the East side corridor and lead to a tunnel connecting the Champions Center to the Mullins Center.
The upper level will consist of office suites and conference rooms for both programs, and an entry foyer with a VIP lounge and balcony overlooking both practice courts.
A live Internet web stream similar to the one at the Football Performance Center at McGuirk Stadium will go online in the coming months to track the progress as well.
The facility will also be used for campus events such as intramural basketball championships.
Both basketball and football projects are slated to be online and ready for use in Summer/Fall 2014 and represent what has been a major facility enhancement effort for athletics over the last decade.
Construction is currently underway for a new Rowing Boathouse located adjacent to the Connecticut River giving the program its first-ever dedicated training space.
These all fall in the footsteps of several other recent facilities and enhancements. The Campus Recreation Center opened in Fall 2009 and the $50 million, 120,000 square foot facility quickly became one of the most popular destinations on campus. Last Fall, it was named a 2012 Facility of Merit Award Winner by Athletics Business Magazine.
The Performance Center and Champions Center will be the first new athletic facilities since the construction of the UMass Track & Field Complex in October 2005 - widely regarded as one of the top facilities in New England. Other enhancements at UMass include the previous work at McGuirk Stadium (field turf installation, permanent lights, video board); new grandstands and press box for Garber Field; new grandstands at the UMass Softball Complex; a new backstop, new halo, and upgraded dugouts at Earl Lorden Field; and the endzone video boards in the Mullins Center.
Those interested in making donations to either project or to other fundraising efforts are encouraged to contact the Minutemen Club office at 413-545-9652.
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