Kansas football announces major renovation plans for locker room, weight room at Anderson Family Football Complex
The Kansas football program will have a new locker room and weight room for the 2023 season.
And the construction is supposed to begin in full in a little more than a month.
KU announced the timeline for the plan — the first in a series of upgrades to both the Anderson Family Football Complex and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium and the surrounding area — in a news release Monday evening.
KU Athletic Director Travis Goff told the team about the plans at a meeting early Monday morning, one day before the start of spring practices. He called the plan “real tangible movement” in his remarks to the team and said simply that the upgrades to the Anderson Family Football Complex were yet another indication of KU’s commitment to football at a time where demonstrating that is absolutely crucial for colleges and universities across the country.
“We’re not going to be about talk,” Goff told the team. “We’re going to be about action, we’re going to be about doing, we’re about investing in a way in this program that will rival anything in the country.”
The improvements to Anderson will be a two-phased revamping. The upgrades to the locker room and weight room, which will instantly enhance the facilities to benefit Coach Lance Leipold’s current team, will serve as Phase I of renovations to Anderson. Information about Phase II is expected to be shared in the near future.
“This is a day that will be remembered as the very first step of the transformational changes that are about to occur at Anderson Family Football Complex and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium,” Goff said in the release. “This is another sign of the institution’s commitment to providing the very best resources available for our football program. There is still much work to be done, and there is intense planning and preparation happening behind the scenes. But today is a day of celebration and a true indicator that we are all-in on making Kansas Football an elite program nationally.”
The 8,000-square foot locker room – up from just more than 6,000 in the current locker room — will feature state-of-the-art lockers made by Longhorn Lockers. The locker will feature “super custom” cushioned seats with an embroidered head rest and reclining features that are specially designed for football players.
The lockers also will be equipped with extensive storage space for players, air flow to dry equipment, specific space for shoulder pads, glove hooks that will act as dryers, extra shoe storage and significantly more space for each stall than the team’s previous dimensions. The locker room will be equipped with 124 lockers, 14 more than the current number of 110.
Locker installation will begin July 7 and be complete in time for the start of training camp. Some of the work will be done as soon as spring break, however, with construction crews taking out some of the signage and features that are not deemed necessary in a couple of weeks. After that, more of the heavy work will begin on April 10, the Monday following KU’s Spring Showcase, which will cap off this year’s spring practices.
The project will be headed by design firms HNTB and Multistudio.
The locker room will have a large “Kansas” script logo prominently integrated into the ceiling. The ceiling will also be equipped with integrated lighting that allows for multiple modes such as “every day” “game day” and “recruiting”.
“I am excited to see this project come together and know it will benefit our current players tremendously,” KU coach Lance Leipold said in the release. “It’s very important to our staff that our current players have the opportunity to benefit from the upgraded facilities, and this will ensure they do in a first-class way.”
The 15,000-square foot weight room will also be a significant upgrade for the Jayhawks. The enlarged space will feature state-of-the-art equipment that will be customized to fit the most pressing training needs for the team.
The weight room will be equipped with 18 platform weight racks, up from 12 in the current weight room. The racks will be customized with height and size dimensions that are the most optimal for Director of Sports Performance Matt Gildersleeve’s training style. Each rack will have pieces of the Kansas Football culture engrained into the racks, with different logos, expressions and sayings the program lives by on a daily basis.
There will also be a major investment in sports science in the new weight room, with more force plates and 1080Sprint, a portable resistance training and testing device for sprints and change of direction movements. According to the release, the device uses intelligent variable resistance technology to provide a more controlled resistance. It measures power, force, speed and acceleration with high accuracy.
The weight room will also include two video boards that will be used to communicate training and culture, along with recruiting presentations. The main weight room area will feature a new wire mesh ceiling with perimeter color-changing LED lighting to provide different themes and vibes throughout each day.
“There is no doubt this will be a top-five weight room in the nation,” Gildersleeve said in the release. “This is going to be tailored perfectly to our student-athletes (so) they receive the most optimal training available.”
In addition to upgrading a key portion of KU’s facilities, which will bring the Jayhawks back to the days when the facility first opened in 2008, when it was considered then as one of the premier football complexes in the country, the work also satisfies an important clause in Leipold’s new contract.
Under the termination by head coach section in the new $5 million-per-year contract that Leipold signed last November, the contract states that the parties agree that if KU has not made “meaningful and substantial progress toward renovating the Anderson Family Football Complex by July 1, 2023,” Leipold has the right to terminate the contract without penalty.
The work that will be done in the coming months certainly qualifies as “meaningful and substantial, and it will begin well ahead of that deadline.
The next such deadline to keep an eye on was also outlined in Leipold’s contract. It states if “meaningful and substantial progress” toward stadium renovations has not begun by Dec. 15, 2023, Leipold also has the right to terminate the contract without penalty.
According to the release, future details about more expansive renovations to Anderson Family Football Complex and the broader gateway project at 11th and Mississippi will be released throughout 2023. So, it does not look as if hitting that provision will be a problem either.
“We have taken several important steps to becoming a better football program over the past two years,” Leipold said in the release Monday. “And this is another critical step forward.”