Advertisement

Archive for Thursday, August 14, 2008

State of the art: part II

Practice facility anchors renovations

This artist's rendition of the new Kansas University basketball practice facility shows three of the seven planned baskets and the windows looking out on Allen Fieldhouse to the east. The windows will have the ability to be shaded to prevent spying on closed practices. Dunking Darrell Arthur (00) not included.

This artist's rendition of the new Kansas University basketball practice facility shows three of the seven planned baskets and the windows looking out on Allen Fieldhouse to the east. The windows will have the ability to be shaded to prevent spying on closed practices. Dunking Darrell Arthur (00) not included.

August 14, 2008

Advertisement

This artist's rendition of the new Kansas University basketball practice facility shows three of the seven planned baskets and the windows looking out on Allen Fieldhouse to the east. The windows will have the ability to be shaded to prevent spying on closed practices. Dunking Darrell Arthur (00) not included.

This artist's rendition of the new Kansas University basketball practice facility shows three of the seven planned baskets and the windows looking out on Allen Fieldhouse to the east. The windows will have the ability to be shaded to prevent spying on closed practices. Dunking Darrell Arthur (00) not included.

This view of the new practice facility, also facing east, shows, among other things, the balconies overlooking the facility from the offices of coaches Bill Self and Bonnie Henrickson.

This view of the new practice facility, also facing east, shows, among other things, the balconies overlooking the facility from the offices of coaches Bill Self and Bonnie Henrickson.

If any members of Kansas University's sports teams other than football were feeling left out, they shouldn't feel that way for long.

As the KU football team luxuriates in the Anderson Family Football Complex, its princely new home away from home, the rest of the Jayhawk student-athletes soon will get new digs of their own.

A $38 million project is under way that should bring the rest of the KU athletic facilities up to standards set by the football team's facility.

"It's for the student-athletes," Kansas associate athletic director Sean Lester said. "It's for their ease. It's for their use. : It's for all our student-athletes. It's not just for one particular sport. Every student-athlete will benefit from what we're doing."

The project, scheduled to be completed Oct. 15, 2009, is far-reaching. It includes new clubhouses for the men's and women's basketball teams; a donor atrium in the corridor between Allen Fieldhouse and Horejsi Center/Parrott Athletic Center; new locker rooms, especially for sports without their own; renovations to Allen Fieldhouse; and increased student-support areas.

The overreaching goal is to bring all the athletic-department buildings under one roof, metaphorically, at least. One indoor corridor will link all those buildings where now they're connected by a labyrinth of hallways and sidewalks.

"There is no Parrott and Wagnon - there is only the athletic facility," Lester said.

Lest anyone think the updates and upgrades are merely cosmetic, Lester says think again.

"It's needed," Lester said. "There's no doubt about it. KU's athletic facilities are behind the times. They're antiquated and need to be updated. We had significant Title IX issues. That was the driving force for all of these things. People that didn't have their own locker rooms or playing facilities - an example is rowing; tennis didn't have their own locker room here - everybody's getting their own lockers, their own playing facilities. Everything that's a Title IX-compliant issue is being addressed in this project.

"And the facilities were just old. Our coaches want to win. We want them to win. These are the assets they need."

Title IX - the federally mandated equal-opportunity legislation - might have been the impetus, but perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the undertaking will be the men's and women's basketball teams.

The centerpiece of the project is a new, 11,600-square-foot basketball practice facility.

It will be bounded by Parrott and Wagnon Student Athlete Center on the north, Anschutz Sports Pavilion on the west, Horejsi Center on the south and Allen Fieldhouse on the east.

The facility will feature the same floor and similar lighting as the fieldhouse, a court-and-a-half setup with seven hoops, a banner of accomplishments and the floor from the 2008 Final Four court on the walls, plus a sound system into which users can connect personal MP3 players,

"It's a state-of-the-art facility," Lester said, "and NBA-type facility. The goal is to have as game-like conditions as we can possibly have."

Men's coach Bill Self likes what he has seen.

"I really believe when our facilities are done, we'll have as nice a practice and arena facility as any in the country," he said. "It will be state-of-the-art practice facility, a court and a half, not only will it be beautiful but practical and one our athletes can take full advantage of."

As it stands, both basketball programs vie for practice time in the fieldhouse and in Horejsi Center. Horejsi also is the home of KU's volleyball team.

"You have three teams trying to share two facilities," women's coach Bonnie Henrickson said. "Time really hasn't been that much of an issue, but we'll be able to schedule practice that's more conducive for the student-athlete. It will enhance the quality of life of our student-athletes, so they don't have to go at 6 in the morning.

"Bill and I have a great relationship. If we have four conflicts, he'll say, 'You take two, we'll take two.' So we're fortunate we have a great relationship, but this should make our practice time even more manageable."

And, of course, the new digs are another tool in recruiting, where keeping up with the Joneses can be just as important in an athlete's decision as playing time or anything else.

"It just speaks to the commitment of what we're trying to do here," Henrickson said. "It's a great space for players, and it will serve a recruiting element. But this is about the kids. It needs to be about the kids, taking care of the student-athletes you have in your program. We're thrilled. Between the practice facility and the locker-room renovation, we couldn't be more excited about it."

Comments

Ramsfield 5 years, 8 months ago

bunch of babies who got beat up by jocks in high school.let it go.

0

thebcman 5 years, 8 months ago

Why don't we just rename it the University of Kansas Sports Academy and be done with it.

0

Eddie Muñoz 5 years, 8 months ago

KU Athletics is a different entity than the University. I don't think the University sees much of the money generated by "KU hoops".If they do, I have to wonder on what it is being spent considering the current state of most of the classrooms on campus. Not to mention the lack of money for departments that aren't Pharmacy, Engineering, or Business.

0

spenmar 5 years, 8 months ago

"and the floor from the 2008 Final Four court on the walls"The Athletic Department is Selling This Floor- Now it is on the walls?FRAUD ALERT FRAUD ALERTAre they selling the 2008 final four floor or is it on the walls? Sounds like LEW PERKINS bought some old gym, is pulling a fast one on the public and fans and keeping the real floor for himself.....WHAT IS THE TRUTH?

0

justaverage 5 years, 8 months ago

Ramsfield. I never saw "Hoosiers".

0

Ramsfield 5 years, 8 months ago

"Meanwhile, the rest of the students are sitting in deteriorating classrooms"oh yeah, real slums.How much $ do you think KU hoops brings to the university, not just the sports program? ____Justavg must have paused his continous "Hoosiers" loop to chime in.Shall we bring back peach baskets, chuck taylors and the granny shot, as well ?

0

hail2oldku 5 years, 8 months ago

JaRon?? talk about a brain-fart. Brandon.

0

hail2oldku 5 years, 8 months ago

Fatty_McButterpants (Anonymous) says: Meanwhile, the rest of the students are sitting in deteriorating classrooms:Confrontation: graduating from college, when you are a college student, is not nerdy. It is what one is supposed to do.--------------------------------------------------------------------------FMB - that is exactly what athletes at KU are doing at a higher rate than the general student population.For those of you b&m-ing about guys like Darrell, JaRon and Mario leaving early, they accomplished what we expect from people that go to college. They were able to get a career that they enjoy (we would assume) that will pay them enough to have them set for life (if they are smart with their contracts). Any of you that studied accounting, architecture, journalism, whatever would do the very same if someone came around and offered you the opportunity to set yourself up for life before you earned your college degree.

0

Confrontation 5 years, 8 months ago

Where did I say anything about graduation? You must be of JuCo quality.

0

Fatty_McButterpants 5 years, 8 months ago

Meanwhile, the rest of the students are sitting in deteriorating classrooms...Confrontation: graduating from college, when you are a college student, is not nerdy. It is what one is supposed to do.

0

Confrontation 5 years, 8 months ago

The Whine O'the Nerds. Typical.

0

justaverage 5 years, 8 months ago

How about displaying banners in the new facility with the names of those "student-athletes" who earned their degrees and those who did not? Athletes of our time have the mind set that facilities, shoes and sky-boxes win games. If the individual athlete doesn't give their all each and everytime out, it doesn't matter how much money was spent to prepare them. For young athletes who need an example of what "giving your all" is, watch the film of Billy Mills winning the 10,000 meter run in the 1964 Olympics. I hope KUAC allow the University to use the stadium or fieldhouse for graduation. Perhaps they will as long as it doesn't interfere with their practice schedules.

0

Write2Know 5 years, 8 months ago

"state-of-the-art practice facility, a court and a half"Great, in the near future some other school will build a court and three quarters facility, or maybe they will get really crazy and build a 2 court facility and KU's will seem old and antiquated.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.