ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A new basketball player development center for the University of Michigan's basketball programs is planned, pending approval Thursday (Jan. 22)by the U-M Board of Regents.
The facility, to be built adjacent to Crisler Arena, will provide approximately 50,000 gross square feet of new space for functional training and practice for the men's and women's programs.
"This is a major step forward in improving our basketball facilities," said Bill Martin, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Intercollegiate Athletics. "The facility will allow our student-athletes to practice later in the day, giving them more flexibility in scheduling their academic classes."
The facility will include two basketball practice courts, team locker rooms, a video theater, spaces for strength and conditioning, athletic medicine, and coaching and staff offices. Athletic resources and gifts will fund the $23.2 million project.
Currently, Crisler Arena is used for so many different activities and events that the men's and women's basketball teams have a difficult time scheduling court time, Martin said.
Men's basketball head coach John Beilein said the decision to build a new basketball player development center shows a tremendous commitment to both the men's and women's basketball programs and will significantly benefit recruiting efforts.
"Having our coaches' offices, strength training, video theatre, training room and practice court all connected to Crisler Arena will only enhance student-athletes' development and our efficiency as a staff," Beilein said. "Having consistent practice times will assist players academically in terms of scheduling their classes and allowing them to choose any major of interest to them. We are obviously thrilled with the positives this new facility will bring, and appreciate the support of President Mary Sue Coleman, and the hard work of Bill Martin and Mike Stevenson in making this project become a reality."
Women's basketball head coach Kevin Borseth was equally appreciative of the new facility.
"The goal of our program is to create an environment that will foster what's best for the development of the student-athlete and their success, both on the court and in the classroom," Borseth said. "This facility, and everything that it will bring to our program, will help us achieve those goals. Everything surrounding our basketball program, including scheduling, player/coach working relationships, player development and recruitment, will benefit from this addition."
Martin has spearheaded the expansion and renovation of much of the university's athletic infrastructure since being named athletic director in 2000. During his tenure, he has overseen the most significant construction on South Campus since Fielding Yost completed Michigan Stadium, Yost Field House, and the Intramural Building in the late 1920s and early 1930s.
Key projects have included renovating Michigan Stadium and constructing a new indoor football practice facility. In recent years, U-M has started construction of a wrestling practice facility and added club seating and new locker rooms to Yost Ice Arena. U-M also renovated the men's gymnastics facilities, the field hockey field, the Hartwig building and the Wilpon baseball/softball complex. U-M also constructed the Ross Academic Center and the Junge Family Champions Center.
Renovating Crisler Arena, which opened in 1967, remains a priority for the department, Martin said. "Crisler is our last major project that we need to address and we're working on the information needed to get to that point."
Over the last five years, renovations to Crisler Arena have continued with the men's and women's locker rooms and training room, a new lighting and sound system, additional courtside seating and renovation of the strength and conditioning room.
For the new practice facility, the regents are expected to appoint Jickling Lyman Powell Associates as the design architect. The construction schedule will be presented to the Regents when approval is sought for the schematic design.
Men's Basketball Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423
Women's Basketball Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423