The University System of Maryland Finance Committee endorsed a plan Thursday afternoon to repurpose Cole Field House into a $155 million facility including an indoor practice field, public health research clinic and center for entrepreneurship.
Under Armour CEO and university alumnus Kevin Plank has promised a $25 million gift for the renovations, and the plans must now be approved by the Board of Regents on Dec.12.
So, what does this mean for the university community? Here are the answers to some initial questions.
What do the proposed renovations entail?
The project would include three parts: the Terrapins Performance Center, the Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Center For Sports Medicine, Health and Human Development.
The Terrapin Performance Center encompasses the football elements of the renovations. It would include a full-length indoor field, training rooms and football offices currently located in Gossett Team House.
The Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship would allow students an outlet to work on generating and marketing ideas. And the school is partner with the University of Maryland Medical School in Baltimore for the Center for Sports Medicine, which plans to combine cutting edge athletic medical research with clinical care open to the public.
How much would it cost?
The total cost of the project in $155 million. The construction of the indoor practice facility and the relocation of current programs housed inside Cole would cost $44 million while the remaining $111 million would be used for the academy, the center for sports medicine, football operations and indoor fields
Where would the money come from?
University President Wallace Loh laid out the funding plans at the Finance Committee meeting: $25 million in state funds, $25 million from Big Ten revenues, $90 million in private donations, including Plank’s, and $5 million from this university. The remaining amount would be earned through academic programs and leasing clinical space in the facility.
Athletic Director Kevin Anderson has said he expects the school to meet the $90 million dollar fundraising goal and potentially exceeded it.
How does it affect the student-athletes?
The Terps football team would have access to enhanced facilities in Cole Field House and move all of its training rooms and offices from Gossett Team House into Cole. The athletic teams currently occupying the Varsity Team House would move into Gossett. In addition, outdoor football fields would be moved next to Cole, and the academic buildings would be built where the field currently sit.
Anderson and football coach Randy Edsall also expect the project to immediately boost recruiting.
How does it affect the students?
Students would be able to use the facility at Cole in several ways. They’d be encouraged to participate in the entrepreneurship program, could attend the sports medicine clinic and would use the facility for intramural sports. There are plenty of concerns for the students, though.
Loh made a pledge to work with student leaders on deciding how to accommodate clubs that use Cole during the renovations but declined to put anything substantial in writing regarding the issue of housing student groups.
The proposed renovations come at a time when much of campus us undergoing construction. The outdoor practices fields included in the plans would also eliminate 700 to 800 parking spots in Lot 1, a popular commuter lot.