The University Board of Regents will soon take the first steps toward the construction of a new practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
In its monthly meeting Thursday, the Regents will consider a proposal from the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics to construct a new basketball training and practice facility adjacent to Crisler Arena, which hasn’t undergone major structural repairs since it opened in 1967. The facility will address the growing need for more practice space due to shared facilities and difficulties with scheduling.
A letter sent to the Regents signed by Athletic Director Bill Martin and the University’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Slottow sought permission for a 50,000-square-foot addition, which is estimated to cost more than $23 million. Additionally, the new facility will permanently displace about 60 parking spaces, along with an additional 90 parking spaces during construction.
The proposed facility will house two new basketball practice courts, team locker areas, a strength and conditioning area, an athletic medical space and coaching and staff offices.
In a separate statement released Monday, Martin said the project is very important to the future success of both basketball teams.
“This is a major step forward in improving our basketball facilities,” he said. “The facility will allow our student-athletes to practice later in the day, giving them more flexibility in scheduling their academic classes.”
John Beilein, the men’s basketball coach, said in a statement on Monday that the facility would greatly enhance the University’s basketball program.
“Having our coaches’ offices, strength training, video theatre, training room and practice court all connected to Crisler Arena will only enhance student-athletes’ development and our efficiency as a staff,” he said.
In the same statement, Kevin Borseth, the women’s basketball coach, echoed Beilein’s comments.
“The goal of our program is to create an environment that will foster what’s best for the development of the student-athlete and their success, both on the court and in the classroom,” he said. “This facility, and everything that it will bring to our program, will help us achieve those goals.”
When asked about the proposal, Regent Julia Darlow declined to comment, saying the proposal had not yet been presented to the Board of Regents. Darlow said she looks forward to receiving the proposal on Thursday.
Jickling Lyman Powell Associates, Inc., an architectural firm out of Troy, will be responsible for designing the facility. If the project is approved Thursday, a schematic design and construction schedule will be presented to the Regents at a later time.