May 4, 2010
By Joe Hornstein
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - The UCF Athletics Board of Directors recently accepted an extensive athletics facility development plan, which calls for $70 million worth of construction on campus in the next 10 years. The plan will soon be presented to the UCF Board of Trustees for final approval before the fundraising process begins.
All of the construction detailed in the UCF Athletics' Facility Development Plan will occur within the athletics village quadrant on the northeast side of campus, furthering UCF's commitment to achieve excellence on a national level. The plan includes a total of eight projects (alphabetical order):
Bright House Networks Stadium expansion (multiple phases)
UCF Academics/Athletics Support Center
UCF Baseball Complex stadium expansion (multiple phases)
UCF Baseball Clubhouse expansion and renovation
UCF Intercollegiate Tennis Center
UCF Track and Soccer Complex stadium expansion
UCF Track and Soccer Complex clubhouse
Wayne Densch Sports Center expansion and renovation
The 50,000-square-foot UCF Academics/Athletics Center is to be constructed on the vacant site between the new Wayne Densch Sports Center and residential tower four. The facility will be anchored by an academic support center for UCF's student-athletes providing computer labs, tutoring and mentoring rooms, and offices for counselors and staff. Office space will also be provided for athletics administrators and coaches. Presently, both Academic Services for Student-Athletes (ASSA) and athletics administration are headquartered in the original Wayne Densch Sports Center, built in 1982-83, on the southern side of campus.
Expansion of the UCF baseball complex is slated for construction in three separate phases and will bring an additional 3,380 seats to the present 800 seating capacity. The first phase calls for 1,200 bleacher seats, with 600 seats to be added beyond each dugout. The second phase includes a new elevated press box, seven luxury suites and club level seating. The final phase will add 2,000 seats on the present concourse, along with the addition of new public restrooms and concession space.
In addition to a larger stadium, the baseball complex is also slated to include expansion and renovation to the team clubhouse. Included in this project will be upgrades to the playing field, converting the present bench seating to chair-back, adding a canopy for shaded seating and a children's activity area.
A 1,500-seat stadium located on the west side of the UCF Track and Soccer Complex is projected to be the first project to begin as a part of the facility development plan. The new stadium will contain a press box and public restroom building and will be clad with a red brick and stucco facade. When completed, the complex will have a seating capacity of over 2,000.
Adjacent to the current soccer/track complex a 7,500 square-foot clubhouse will be constructed for the track and field and soccer programs. The facility will include locker rooms, meeting space, an athletic training room and equipment storage for these programs. Locker rooms will also be included for visiting teams and officials.
The UCF Intercollegiate Tennis Complex, to be built adjacent to the east side of the current UCF Softball Stadium, will include 12 championship-caliber courts and a 1,000-seat grandstand. The new tennis complex will also contain a clubhouse with locker rooms and other amenities for both the men's and women's programs. It is also planned that the complex will include three to four covered courts.
Expansion and renovation is planned for the Wayne Densch Sports Center, which houses football operations, as well as the main weight room and athletic training center. This 12,000 square-foot addition will be located between the current building and the Nicholson Fieldhouse. Planned upgrades include an expanded football locker room with a student-athlete lounge area, a larger equipment storage room, expansion to the current weight room and additional office space.
Expansion to Bright House Networks Stadium is also considered within the 10-year plan. This project would be comprised of two components. The first component would be an addition to the Roth Tower (west side) to provide more suites, club seating and operational space. The second component would be an expansion to the seating bowl by adding 10,000 seats to the east side of the stadium, which would bring the overall seating capacity of Bright House Networks Stadium to over 56,000. The second component may also include an east side stadium club.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING...
Keith Tribble, Director of Athletics
"From an athletics venue perspective, it is vital for us to have our vision and planning firmly in place as we continue to grow the University of Central Florida image nationally. When we received approval from our board, it was a critical moment for UCF Athletics in taking the first step forward. To fulfill the projects outlined in the plan will take a great effort from our administration, alumni, supporters, coaches and community.
"Within the last four years, several of our programs have enjoyed moving into new facilities and we've seen success quickly follow. It is our goal and promise to our student-athletes to continue striving for record achievement throughout our entire program."
Britton Banowsky, Commissioner, Conference USA
"The universities that will be successful in the future are those that make the investments today. That is true for all parts of a university, but particularly true for intercollegiate athletics. These are exciting capital improvements that both fans and the student-athletes will enjoy for a long time to come."
Mark Gumble, Director, Academic Services for Student-Athletes University of Central Florida
"The completion of the Academics Center is critical to fulfilling our vision of developing a premier academic support program for the student-athletes at UCF. The center will allow us to take the (academic advising, mentoring and tutorial) services we are conducting in four buildings on campus and bring them all under one roof, in close proximity to where our student-athletes are living and training. This building has the potential to transform our program into one where our time, energy, and resources are focused squarely on student's success."
George O'Leary, Football Coach
"Bright House Networks Stadium is the most visible building on campus in terms of exposure so any future improvements to the stadium will only enhance the image of the entire University."
"Making so many improvements to all sports like this shows the strong commitment that the University and Athletics have to its student-athletes."
Bobby Cashman, Men's Tennis Coach
"The plan for the UCF Intercollegiate Tennis Center is an exciting development for our program. The facility will help us attract some of the top junior players in the United States. This helps show recruits that UCF is planning to give them the resources to succeed at the highest level of college tennis."
Amanda Cromwell, Women's Soccer Coach
"A stadium and clubhouse at the UCF soccer and track complex would mean so much for all three programs (men's and women's soccer and women's track and field). Once we have a stadium, we feel that is the last piece of the recruiting puzzle and we know that will enable us to bring in the best student-athletes in the country. We put a great product on the field, we play against the best competition in the country and we want to play at a venue that we can claim is one of the best in the country."
Bryan Cunningham, Men's Soccer Coach
"I am excited by the commitment of the athletic administration to enhance our UCF Soccer and Track Complex. Having a first-class stadium and clubhouse will have a tremendous effect on our ability to continue recruiting the nation's top student-athletes. We look forward to a new home for our current student-athletes and our loyal fan base."
Caryl Smith Gilbert, Women's Track and Field Coach
"The planned renovations and additions to our facility are extremely beneficial to our program as we continue to grow and strive to compete for championships both on the conference and national levels. UCF's commitment to these facilities and to our track and field program will aid us in recruiting elite student-athletes and also hosting high-level meets on our beautiful campus."
Stephanie Nickitas, Women's Tennis Coach
"Having a dedicated facility for UCF tennis will have a tremendous impact on our ability to recruit and allow us to compete for players that are also looking at other prominent programs in the southeast. It will also provide better our student-athletes with enviable training and practice resources. Additionally, a larger grandstand with optimal viewing of several courts will help us attract more spectators and interest from the local community.
Terry Rooney, Baseball Coach
"The expansion of the baseball complex demonstrates the continued commitment to enable our baseball program to compete at a national level."
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