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Facility Upgrades

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In reference to the topic of facility upgrades that was touched upon in a different post, I would like to start this new thread to get some opinions and to ask for some more information.


In my opinion, the credibility of this board is in serious question due to some of the misinformation that is going up here without any accountability on the part of the posters. I know for a fact that there are no plans for a $100 million facility upgrade in athletics; to say otherwise is either gross misinformation or an out-and-out lie (or, perhaps to that person, out-and-out optimism).


Allow me to rephrase slightly - there are plans, but that is all. There is no contract and/or agreement, as was stated in an earlier post in a different thread. Also, there is no planned announcement for the spring. Perhaps that poster was referring to possible interviews and consulting activities that could move forward in the spring-summer? I believe the plans are further along than ever before, but in talking with various athletes and employees after reading that post, I determined that the statement about the upgrades was seriously off-base.


Various plans have been in the works for a couple of years, but have never gotten off the ground. The university just put upwards of $60 million into the Life Sciences Building on campus. The total athletics goal for the "Bold. Vision." campaign was around $8 million ... including everything. Scholarships, endowment, facilities, etc. This is not to say that with donations specified to athletics it couldn't be more than that amount- however if the donations come mostly unrestricted (the most likely scenario), then that is the minimum athletics will get.


To post something stating that there is a contract or an agreement in place for the upgrades is in my opinion doing a great disservice to this board and the fans that read these posts.


Just to begin to further the debate a little, the facility needs at UA are so great that $100 million might not cover them all. From my general observations (and those of my friends and colleagues) and through talking with a few athletes that I know, I compiled this list: outdoor track replacement (can not host championships due to not having enough lanes, a flaw in the original design); football stadium upgrades or construction of a new stadium; field hockey turf field; soccer-lacrosse turf field; bleacher replacements at all fields; press boxes on all fields.


This does not even take into account the facility upgrades that are long overdue in the area of student recreation, as 12,000+ students currently share one swimming pool, six basketball courts (six!), a small indoor running track, various tennis courts, the bubble (tennis, sometimes basketball) and a tiny weight room on campus. The new gym inside Crossgates Mall is at least 10 times bigger than the RACC Weight Room, which is intended (in theory) to service the whole campus.


They (students) also compete for general recreation time with intramurals, outside events (concerts, fundraisers, graduations, various group rentals), and of course intercollegiate athletic practices and games. Not to mention the New York Giants in the summer.


If anything were to be constructed on campus in the near future, don't put your money on a football stadium. Bet on a new student recreation center going up first. You have to keep the 11,000+ non-student-athletes happy, and from what I read and hear from talking to students, it's not happening right now.


I guess in closing my post, I would ask the people who claim to be "in the know" to provide details of what they know. Obviously they claim to be representing people involved in this process, so get it out on the table if you're really involved.


If you're not supposed to be saying anything (if this is some sort of secret plan), then I think posting anything at all in the first place is just as bad as posting what I consider to be misinformation. I really feel like you have jumped the gun in saying something like that, so put your money where your mouth is and let's have it ...

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Good Post - from everything I've read and heard, the priorities are bleachers for all the fields and a synthetic surface for lax and field hockey. Lax is the only sport where UA has been able to send a team to the NCAA D1 tournament and they have to play some of their games at high schools and at Union.


I was at UA before the bubble and before the RACC, there were serious space issues then as intramurals had to compete with basketball - there was varsity and jv basketball, intramural basketball and floor hockey competing for space. I would have thought the RACC and the bubble would have improved that - I guess that it hasn't.

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The only other thing I've heard for athletics was an indoor track facility.


You've hit most of the other things mentioned last April. I've still got the booklet, I'll try to scan it and have DP put it up on the board.


The $100M was stated on another forum to include much more than athletics, and I know there are plans next for a new 'Welcome Center' on Collins Circle, as well as talk of a parking garage, which could be placed where it might also be useful for sports spectator parking besides daily use. Just those two might take up half the 100M.


What I heard was that the consultations and recommendations would be finished by the end of April, and we also don't know how much the search for the new president will delay things.

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I think the Welcome Center on Collins Circle actually morphed into much more than that - it's going to be the new administration building. At least that is what someone told me last year. I assume that is still the plan, as the current administration is sort of off-campus in the two buildings on Western Avenue. It's too bad, because that would be a great location for a football stadium.


The indoor track facility I think is a pipe dream, as it would cost just as much as a student recreation center. The conundrum for athletics is that the RACC track doesn't have enough room for D-I meets, yet if you build a student rec center that does have the room, you're really making another building for athletics and giving the "crap" building (the RACC) to the students. And around and around we go.


I thought the other post was stating that the $100 million was for athletics only, which I know to be false. But if I misinterpreted, I apologize. Re-reading it, it still appears to say it's athletics-only, however.


I don't think the turf fields are as far off as one might think. Athletics would be smart to bundle these together with some student activities turf fields, to be used for intramurals, etc. By bundling the costs together, they might be able to get the student association and or the university to cover some of the cost (i.e. putting in two or three separate fields at the same time should save some on installation costs, if not materials).


A parking garage would be very, very expensive. Probably $30 million is my best guess. Most schools I have looked at state that the costs of building and also maintaining them far exceeds the revenue that is brought back with the deck's usage. That said, there is a terrible parking situation on campus and a deck would be of great use (since you can't go out forever, going up makes the most sense). The problem with building a deck near athletics is this - if you think about it, and you give students and or faculty the permits to park in the deck, you would then have to have some enforcement mechanism in place to kick those cars out during athletic events in favor of the athletics patrons. I really don't see that happening, both because it would be tedious and hard to accomplish, and because it would be unfair to the people with permits to have to continually move their cars. Also, athletics being so far away from the academic podium (by far away, I mean far enough to make academics unhappy), I also see that as a strong negative to that idea.


Just doing a simple search on Google, I found the following links:


http://wildcat.arizona.edu/papers/95/1/01_5_m.html - in 2000-2002, this deck cost between $10.5 and $15 million for 1,500 spaces (I used my attendance electronic abacus)


http://www.tp.ohio-state.edu/planning/sout...n/AppendixD.htm - estimates that the same 1,500 space garage today would cost around $28.6 million at Ohio State


http://www.thejournalnews.com/newsroom/120...2wpcouncil.html - a more recent article (2003) estimated that again 1,500 spaces would be nearly $25 million

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Thanks for the solid research on the parking situation.


A parking garage would be awesome. Where would it go by the Tennis courts or the Athletic parking area by the RACC?


Hey I'm glad that electronic abacus is used for something other than body counts!!!!! Keep the batteries charged or your figures may start to be irrational!!



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I would assume you wouldn't want to remove any existing facilities, and thus instead of putting it on the tennis courts, you'd have to put it on top of the RACC lot where it stands right now. [i do think that would be one great spot for a student recreation center, which would form a sort of triad of buildings (PE-RACC-REC) without eliminating fields or practice fields.]


However, as I said it wouldn't work out well for the campus with a RACC Deck, since then kids and staff would have a long trek to wherever their classes were. A much better spot would be in one of the lots across from Empire Commons, which is right near classrooms and the Commons, where there is a huge parking crunch. Although this doesn't help athletics any, it makes the most sense.


Alternately, if you really want to get nutty, you could say that if athletics got a new turf field hockey field somewhere else (tennis court area), then you could put a deck there - which is closer to the podium and also right next to the RACC and PE building - thus alleviating both problems at once. Of course that turf field would take away where I think the rec center should go... maybe they could put the turf field in the area between baseball and soccer-lacrosse?

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One thing you've missed is that the rec center will be a permanent building replacing the bubble. If it's three or four floors on the same footprint it should have plenty of room, but baseball and lax will have to practice popups and long passes outside on the artificial turf.


If the parking garage is limited to faculty,staff, and off-campus students, there shouldn't be too much conflict with athletic events at night and weekends. Central Conn. has garages in the middle of the campus that it also uses for football and hoops.

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One thing you've missed is that the rec center will be a permanent building replacing the bubble.


If the parking garage is limited to faculty,staff, and off-campus students, there shouldn't be too much conflict with athletic events at night and weekends.

I don't think that is necessarily the case. You could have the building on the other side of the bubble and preserve it. Why not maximize and keep it around, giving you even more space (indoor tennis, track practices)? With the long winters (evidenced by lax playing at RPI and Union in past years), you need a winter practice facility for lacrosse and baseball.


The students would still need parking at night and on the weekends during the day. If you sell the students a permit, they are going to want to be able to leave their cars there when they go away, overnight, etc. So you're still going to have a problem in that respect. One possible solution is to take current faculty lots and convert them to student lots, and give the faculty the garage spaces - since they probably won't be around nights and weekends anyhow.


The real problem is that when you have a 7 pm game, and people work until 5 pm ... how do you ensure those people leave work at 5 and get out of the garage before the game traffic? You really can't, so it's tough.


I think the optimal space for a deck would really be next to the softball field where field hockey currently is ... or where softball is (assuming you could push it down the line into the current field hockey space). That way, it's right next to the dorms and the campus center, and would ensure use for both athletics and faculty.

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