New facilities ‘state-of-the-art’

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    By Bradley Corbett

    After a dismal 5-7 season, “revamped” and “state-of-the-art” are words that can describe the new attitude and new facilities surrounding the BYU football team.

    The new Indoor Practice Facility will be completed October 15 and cost about $9 million. The Student Athlete Center will be completed November 25 and cost around $21 million.

    “Luxurious” and “functional” are words that can describe the new facilities, said Val Hale, BYU athletic director. Hale toured 10 to 12 facilities of professional and other collegiate institutions to get ideas for BYU”s new facilities, he said.

    “The indoor facility is patterned after the St. Louis Rams,” he said. “The weight room in the Student Athlete Center is like the Green Bay Packers and the locker room is like the Philadelphia Eagles.”

    The old facilities were outdated and not as practical as they could be, he said, so the athletic department raised about $50 million to upgrade and build new complexes. However, BYU is still $2 million short and looking for additional donations.

    Several people provided input on how the complexes should be built. For example, Head Coach Gary Crowton asked to have a portion of the In-door Practice Facility set apart from the main field, so offensive linemen can run drills and stay out of the way of receivers running routes.

    Former BYU football player Chad Lewis recommended the halls and doors be made extra wide to accommodate large athletes and prevent any bottlenecks.

    The equipment manager asked to have special ramps where golf carts can pull right in to the center and fill up with ice and water.

    A new restaurant will also be included in the Student Athlete Center.

    “It will have the feel of a sports bar with lots of seating and plenty of huge plasma televisions” Hale said.

    Students, faculty and athletes will be invited to eat there.

    “It will be the new hangout in Provo, where fans can come and enjoy the restaurant,” Hale said.

    Every detail was taken into consideration with this center, he said. For example, the film room is built with a stadium seating structure, and the first two rows will have “extra-large” seats for linemen.

    The complex will include a three-story atrium that will house trophies, plaques and memorabilia from past BYU teams. A projector will show BYU football clips on a big screen.

    “This will be a place where fans can come remember the past.” Hale said.

    The weight room is two stories and has windows built all around to provide a view of the practice field.

    The locker room is 75 yards long. There is a rehabilitation room, and three whirlpools will adorn the complex.

    There will be a special locker room for former BYU players who want to train in Provo during the off-season.

    Brandon Stephens, a BYU offensive lineman, is particularly excited about the new facilities.

    “I can”t wait to move in and use it,” Stephens said. “Every time I drive into Provo, it”s the first thing I see.”

    Hale said the Indoor Practice Facility will also be used for intramural sports and physical education classes.

    The indoor facility is 140 yards long and 75 yards wide.

    “We”ve needed this for a long time,” Hale said. “It will greatly help our recruiting.”

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