LOGAN, Utah – Utah State Athletics held a ground breaking ceremony Monday for its new Wayne Estes Center, which will be located west of the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
The ceremonial shovel turning featured President Stan L. Albrecht, Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes, Jim Laub, Blake Kirby, associate men’s basketball coach Tim Duryea, head women’s basketball coach Jerry Finkbeiner, head volleyball coach Grayson DuBose and current student-athletes Elle Brainard (volleyball), Jarred Shaw (men’s basketball) and Makenlee Williams (women’s basketball).
The $9.5 million, 32,000 square-foot basketball practice facility and volleyball competition venue will contain a regulation size competition court with chair back seating for 1,400 fans, along with a training room and in-season strength and conditioning area. Office space for both men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball will also be included in the new facility, as well as a locker room and film room for volleyball. Ticketing and concession services will also be available on Game Days. Located inside the foyer of the Wayne Estes Center will be a visual tribute of the buildings namesake.
The facility, which was made possible following a lead gift of $5.25 million from Jim and Carol Laub (the largest single gift in the history of Aggie Athletics) and a $1.3 million gift from Blake Kirby is expected to be completed in April, 2014. All funding for this new facility will come from private donations.
“Jim and Carol have played a critical role in the growth of our athletic enterprise in numerous ways over the years,” said Barnes. “Their most recent lead gift to the Wayne Estes Center is a profoundly generous statement that speaks volumes about their devotion to Utah State University Athletics and our student-athletes. This comes at a pivotal time as we continue to make the climb in preparation for Mountain West competition.”
This project is the latest in a series of recent athletic facility improvements at Utah State. In 2008, construction was completed on the 69,000 square foot Jim & Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex. In 2009, USU opened the Steve Mothersell Athletics Hall of Honor as well as its new off-court basketball facilities, which include the Nate and Heather Wickizer men’s basketball and MerLynn Pitcher women’s basketball locker rooms. In 2010, USU opened the Dr. Randall and Julianne Stockham Student-Athlete Academic Hall of Honor. In 2011, a new synthetic turf was installed in the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center, while new AstroTurf was installed on Merlin Olsen Field inside Romney Stadium in 2012. And in 2013, USU will complete construction on its new 26,000 square foot strength and conditioning center, as well as install new south end zone seating at Romney Stadium.
For more information on the Wayne Estes Center or to pledge a gift, contact the USU Athletics Department at (435) 797-1850.