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Basketball Practice Facility Approved at Board of Visitors Meeting

By Jon Atwood
News Staff Writer
November 14, 2007

Despite the university's facing financial difficulties in the wake of Apr. 16, Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors approved construction of the basketball practice facility at their meeting Monday.

The 49,000 square foot facility will be located on the east side of Cassell Coliseum. The authorized cost is $20 million, according to Tom Gabbard, associate athletic director, internal affairs.

The funds will come from a combination of private gifts (an estimated $10.6 million) and debt serviced by the athletics capital assessment fee (an estimated $9.4 million). The cost will include design, construction, equipment and relocation of tennis courts on the sight.

The target date for completion for the project is summer of 2009, Gabbard said.

The facility will include the following for both men’s and women’s basketball: full-sized practice court, locker room, training room, weight room and office.

Planning for the facility was approved by the Board during its meeting on March 26.

“It’s desperately needed in order to compete in a conference [ACC] that’s so basketball oriented,” Gabbard said after the meeting. “It’s beneficial for both programs, both in preparation for the season and recruiting.”

Plans for other projects, including additional health and wellness space and the ICTAS (Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science) II research facility, were discussed during the meeting of the Building and Grounds Committee that began at 9:45 a.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

For health and wellness, plans included a new athletic building the expansion of McComas Hall.

Richard Ferraro, assistant vice president for student affairs, said there is a need, in the aftermath of Apr. 16, to enhance health and wellness to better support students.

“We want to go from undersized to healthy-sized,” Ferraro said.

Ferraro wants to have a new recreation of 90,000 square feet built, along with expanding McComas from 61,000 to 93.000 square feet.

Ferraro compared the amount of recreational space per student at Tech to ten other ACC schools. He found Tech to be the second lowest, at 5.56 square feet per student. Duke University was the highest at 26.69 square feet per student.

Plans for the ICTAS II research facility were discussed by the Committee.

Representatives from SmithGroup, the architecture firm hired to construct the facility, presented their plan for the facility. The plans included lowering the area of the building from around 79,000 to 73,600 square feet.

The facility will be located near Litton Reaves Hall.


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