Arkansas State University announced a $22 million football facility project, including a two-level football operations building and 76,000 square-foot indoor practice facility in ASU Stadium's north end zone, at an 11 a.m. press conference held Thursday at the current ASU Football Facility.
The new football operations building's first floor will house A-State's locker room, state-of-the-art strength and conditioning and sports medicine centers, a players lounge and equipment room. The second floor will feature coaching and administrative offices, team meeting rooms, a history and heritage showroom and a team film room with theatre seating. The indoor practice facility will run east and west and be connected to the north side of the operations building.
The facility will have a brick exterior and feature an outdoor plaza facing the field on the building's second level. The interior will have a strong Red Wolves' theme with black and red dominating the esthetic appearance.
"This facility project is going to put us in position to be a perennial Top 25 nationally prominent team," said ASU Chancellor Dr. Tim Hudson. "We have our 'next level' coaching staff on board, and this is the next level in terms of facilities. This project wouldn't have been possible without the hard work of many people, and it's thanks to them that this has become a reality."
"This is an exciting day," said ASU Head Football Coach Gus Malzahn. "This is something we've been thinking about really since the first week I was hired. I've got a vision for this program to take it to the next level, and this is one of those monumental steps that we'll look back on and say 'that was one of those defining moments."
ASU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Cristian Murdock said the initial discussions about a possible football facility project began Feb. 2, the day after the Red Wolves announced their 2012 recruiting class that was ranked No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference.
"This has been an exciting time, and we have to continue to invest in ASU if we are going to continue to move forward," said Murdock. "It is time for Arkansas State to aim higher and take this football program to the next level, and that's what was done when Gus Malzahn was named our head coach and now with this project."
Interviews with a number of architectural firms were held May 24, and ASU selected Brackett Krennerich Architects to head the project with advisement from Sparks Reed Architecture and Interiors.
Brackett Krennerich has overseen the construction of several Arkansas State University facilities, including the Biosciences/Biotechnology Building, Fowler Center for the Performing Arts, Dean B. Ellis Library and Donald W. Reynolds Center for Health Sciences. Sparks Reed has worked with other football facility projects around the nation, including those at Oklahoma State and Baylor.
An official groundbreaking for the project has not been set, but construction could begin as early as spring and is expected to take approximately two years to complete. The construction costs for the north end zone facility, which will compliment the current three-story football facility at the opposite end of the field, will be raised through private funds.
"This day is just another signal that we are going to be an aggressive University -- that we are going to push the limits of where our University has been historically and that we're going to have a university that is strong on all levels," said ASU System President Dr. Chuck Welch. "As we've said many times, this facility is just another example of where we want ASU to be."
A major gift announcement will be made just prior to kickoff of the ASU-Memphis football game in conjunction with today's facility project announcement. Saturday's game between the Red Wolves and Tigers is scheduled for 6 p.m. at ASU Stadium.