New $14 million practice facility in the works

By By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

By Marco Villano, Staff Writer

Athletic director Chris Hill and head coach Jim Boylen are continuing to make changes with the Runnin’ Utes basketball program. Their newest project is a practice facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams that will cost approximately $14 million.

The decision to build a new practice facility comes after years of the men’s and women’s teams sharing the same floor. As of now, both teams are practicing in the Huntsman Center and working out in the HPER West. The new facility, expected to be finished in three years, will provide full-sized courts for both teams, offices for the coaches and training facilities. Boylen said he feels the addition of a practice facility will help the Utes’ recruiting process.

Although the idea is still fresh, the plan is to build the three-story building between the two HPER West buildings, overlooking the valley. The first floor will have locker rooms and a player lounge. The second floor will have conference and weight rooms. Administrative offices will be on the third floor. The conference room will overlook the courts with a giant window that can be transformed into a movie screen for viewing game film.

Fundraising for the project has been scheduled to begin immediately. Hill said the completion of the project depends on the fund raising.

In addition to the new basketball facility, the Utes’ athletics program plans to build a new women’s softball field, a track and improve the Smith Athletic Center. The track is scheduled to be the first of the four to be built.

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