- Rendering courtesy of UF Athletic Association
The University of Florida released new information surrounding its proposed standalone football complex.
A 56-page facility summary finalized on Monday paints a general picture of the soon-to-be three-story structure. Its estimated budget is $60 million and is expected to be completed by June 2019.
According to the facility summary, the distance between the football team’s current facilities and the practice fields is “not ideal.”
The football team’s current offices are housed in the Heavener Complex attached to Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and the weight room is in the stadium’s south end zone. Following the completion of the complex, the 25,000-square-foot weight room in the football stadium will be renovated and become a weight room for all UF athletes.
“The proposed new facility would be co-located with the practice fields solving the current issues with travel time and safety concerns with athletes crossing the road fully dressed for practice etc.,” the project plan reads. “Expansion of the existing space was looked at but was not really optimal for the adjacencies needed internally to the facility itself, not to mention the needed colocation to the practice fields.”
As previously reported, the 130,000-square-foot standalone football complex will be located on the north end of James G. Pressly Stadium, which is home to UF’s soccer and track and field programs and is immediately west of the football team’s practice fields. It will overtake the grass area where the track team’s throwing events took place.
Amenities inside the facility will include an entry lobby, a locker room with a players lounge, a hydrotherapy room with a “spa-like feel,” a recruiting room and meeting rooms, among others.
Adjacent to the football complex will be an athletes-only dining hall, large enough for all about 450 athletes, according to the project.
The standalone football complex is part of the UF Athletic Association’s $100 million facility master plan, which also includes renovations to the baseball and softball complexes.
The plan was approved in September by the UAA under former athletics director Jeremy Foley.
At the time of the announcement, Foley said the goal was to ensure funding went to facilities and items that would benefit the athletic program.
“We’ll build something that the football team can really use and be really good,” Foley said. “That’s kind of what we do.”
It’s the second big facility upgrade for the football team in the last as many years. In 2015, UF unveiled its $17 million indoor football practice facility.
“We’re getting a lot of really good things going on as far as commitment to the facilities,” UF coach Jim McElwain said. “The things we need to do … that’s for the sustainability of the University of Florida football program and its brand. We’ve been behind, but we’re catching up. I know that’s something that is making a lot of people nervous around the country, and that’s a good thing.”