The new facility, scheduled to open July 1, 2010, will be directly between the existing soccer complex and the Hutsell-Rosen Track.
The 22,000-square foot, two-story building will house nine coach’s offices, locker rooms for each sport, training rooms, equipment rooms and team lounges.
“It’s an opportunity to be in a first class facility here at Auburn,” said track and field head coach Ralph Spry. “This is something new that we have not had access to before and everybody is very excited to be able to call this facility home.”
As part of the University’s move toward being more environmentally friendly, the facility will also be certified with a LEED silver rating.
“It’s a process you go through from design and construction through occupancy that says the way you are building this facility will be environmentally friendly,” said Randy Byars, director of athletic facilities construction and planning. “For instance, a lot of the building materials are recycled, several of the carpets are made from recycled materials and the sources used to supply the materials are all local in order to reduce the environmental impact from trucking in resources.”
Byars said this new facility is being built at the right time because the current locker rooms and coach’s offices are in Beard–Eaves Coliseum, which is scheduled to be demolished after the completion of the new coliseum.
“As of right now, we have both boy’s and girl’s locker rooms in the coliseum,” said Laurel Pritchard, a senior in nutrition and a distance runner. “I think it will definitely benefit us because it will be so much closer to the track, because otherwise you have to go park or walk to the coliseum, change and walk or ride to the track.”
The addition of locker rooms and coach’s offices directly beside each sport venue, Byars said, will be essential both during practice and before and during games.
Soccer head coach Karen Hoppa said her team is most excited about moving out of the coliseum and into a new, personalized facility.
“The building is old and the locker rooms are small so just moving into a brand new facility that is our own home, our own place just for soccer and track at one location is what we are most looking forward to,” Hoppa said.
Spry said getting these facilities closer to the actual sport venue is something that has been much needed.
He also pointed out that this won’t only benefit existing team members, but it’s also expected to be a major boost in recruiting efforts, drawing in talent from around the country.
“When you recruit student athletes, you have to show them first-class facilities to send a message of commitment to that sport,” Spry said. “This facility shows the University has a total commitment to the sport of track and field at Auburn.”
When planning the building, it was important to create a modern and efficient space that will be a “major compliment” to both sports in order to be shown off to potential athletes, Byars said.
Another major priority when planning the building was to add features the coliseum currently lacks.
One such feature is the addition of team lounges, which will serve as a team meeting place before and after each game.
“We end up meeting in the scholarship room at the coliseum so the team lounge will be a great place that’s big enough to house our entire track team, and both boys and girls can just walk in and use it,” Pritchard said.
The contractor is Hardin Construction out of Atlanta.