FAYETTEVILLE (ArkansasRazorbacks.com) - Construction of the University of Arkansas' Basketball Performance Center will officially begin early next month it was announced by Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long.
The groundbreaking ceremony for the $25 million facility will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 11 a.m. at the future site of the Basketball Performance Center along Leroy Pond Road on the southeast corner of Bud Walton Arena between Bogle Park and The Gardens.
Long, Arkansas head men's basketball coach Mike Anderson and Arkansas head women's basketball coach Tom Collen will be among those taking part in the festivities. The groundbreaking ceremony is open to Razorback Fans and members of the general public.
"We invite Razorback fans to join us as we break ground on the Basketball Performance Center, a facility that will serve as integral part of the future success of Razorback men's and women's basketball," Long says. "Although we are still in the process of raising the funding needed for the facility, it is critical we move ahead to provide our basketball programs with a facility to bring us up to the level of the institutions we compete with day in and day out in the SEC and around the region. I am confident that even as we begin construction, others will step up with support to help provide the our men's and women's basketball programs a comprehensive practice facility which will help us better serve the development needs of our current and future student-athletes."
This 66,000 square foot facility is scheduled to open as the Home of Razorback Basketball in the summer of 2015. The Basketball Performance Center will house all operational components for the men's and women's basketball teams including: two full-court gymnasiums, men's and women's locker rooms, a weight room, an athletic training room, coaches' offices, team meeting rooms, student-athlete lounge and study areas and an equipment room. The University of Arkansas is currently the only Southeastern Conference program without a basketball practice facility.
"The Basketball Performance Center will give us the ability to hold practices and other team related activities at any time of the day independent of other scheduled events at Bud Walton Arena," Long says. "It will also allow tremendous flexibility in accommodating student-athletes academic schedules to help further assist them on their track to graduation. The everyday use of the Basketball Performance Center will also allow us to explore more frequent and diverse uses of Bud Walton Arena. Additional campus and outside events could bring significant additional economic benefits to our region even beyond the current estimated $1 billion economic impact affiliated with Razorback Athletics in the next five years."
MAHG Architecture (Fort Smith) and Populous (Kansas City, Mo.) will lead the design team on the Basketball Performance Center while CDI Constructors (Fayetteville and Little Rock) will serve as the general contractor.
The Basketball Performance Center is one of three projects that is part of the Never Yield fundraising initiative. Never Yield, originated from a signature line in the University of Arkansas' fight song, serves as a program-wide motto to help raise the national profile of Razorback Athletics while bringing fans together in their support for the more than 460 student-athletes representing the University of Arkansas. In addition to the Basketball Performance Center, the Never Yield campaign also will provide support for the baseball and track indoor training facility and the Student-Athlete Success Center. The baseball and track indoor training facility is currently under construction and targeted for completion in the summer of 2014. If you would like more information on how you can support the Never Yield campaign please call the Razorback Foundation at (479) 443-9000.
Following the Basketball Performance Center groundbreaking ceremony, Arkansas hosts Clemson in men's basketball at 1 p.m. Later that evening, the Razorback women's team hosts Northwestern State at 7 p.m. Tickets for both games are available by logging on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com or by calling the Razorback Ticket Office at 1-800-982-HOGS (4647).