LOGAN, Utah – Utah State University Director of Athletics Scott Barnes announced Friday the largest gift in the history of Aggie Athletics – a lead gift of $4.5 million from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous – to fund a new strength and conditioning center.The $6.2 million, 18,000 square-foot strength and conditioning center will feature areas for weight training, cardiovascular workouts and speed and agility training, as well as offices for staff. Built on existing university property at the northwest corner of Romney Stadium, the state-of-the-art multi-level facility will alleviate overcrowding in the existing 5,800 square-foot conditioning center and will accommodate almost 400 athletes from 16 sports programs.The facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013.”We are extremely thankful for the generous and historic lead gift that has made this project possible,” said Barnes. “We can’t thank the donor family enough for their continued and monumental support. Their contribution to this project is a game changer for all of our programs.””The location, programming aspects and amenities of the new strength and conditioning center will serve as a huge recruiting opportunity for all sports,” Barnes added.All funding for the new strength and conditioning center will come from private donations.The location of the facility may allow the athletic department to capitalize on potential new merchandise sales and customer service opportunities as well.”We will work with our architects and others to evaluate the upside to adding a game day Aggie Apparel outlet on the east end of the building as well as a possibility for a new game day ticket outlet on the west side,” said Barnes.”There is more heavy lifting to do regarding fundraising for this project, but obviously this contribution gives us a significant head start,” Barnes stated. This project is the latest in a series of recent athletic facility improvements at Utah State. In 2008, the University completed construction on the 69,000square 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 and in 2011 a new synthetic turf was installed in the Stan Laub Indoor Training Center.For more information on the new strength and conditioning center or to pledge a gift, contact the USU Athletics Department at (435) 797-1850.What Select Utah State Coaches Are Saying About The New Strength and Conditioning CenterGary Andersen, Utah State Head Football Coach”Number one, it is a huge help for every sport, not just football, to use in preparing for their respective competition. From what I have seen from the plans, it will be state-of-the-art and very first-class all the way around. All of the athletics teams will be able to get in and do their work outs in an efficient, top-notch fashion. From the football standpoint, it allows us to get the entire team in there working out together, and it allows us to be in a brand new facility that is the best of the best. It is a big help in recruiting, new facilities always help in recruiting. For us to bring recruits in and show them a brand new strength and conditioning facility shows the commitment of the university. This new facility helps us take a huge step as not only a football program, but also is a tremendous benefit to every student-athlete at Utah State.” Stew Morrill, Utah State Head Men’s Basketball Coach”The progress in athletic facilities at Utah State continues to be extremely positive. Future student-athletes in all sports will enjoy this much-needed addition, and it’s an obvious boost to recruiting. We are all very grateful to the donors and fundraisers who have made this possible.” Raegan Pebley, Utah State Head Women’s Basketball Coach”The addition of the new strength and conditioning center will with no question help all of the sports here at Utah State. Strength and conditioning doesn’t only help you physically prepare to be the best athlete that you can, but you also become mentally stronger. I am excited for us to have a strength and conditioning center that matches the level of facility that we have in the Jim & Carol Laub Athletics-Academics Complex.” Heather Cairns, Utah State Head Women’s Soccer Coach”Strength training and conditioning play a big part in allowing our student-athletes to compete at their best. The new strength and conditioning center will give our student-athletes a competitive edge. Increasing the size of the facility will also allow more flexibility in workout times for the student-athletes as they continue to balance their academic and athletic commitments.” Gregg Gensel, Utah State Head Track and Field/Cross Country Coach”Because our program is so large we have difficulty scheduling time where we can workout as a team right now. With the new strength and conditioning facility, we will be able to work out in larger groups and accomplish what we need to in a shorter amount of time, allowing our student-athletes to concentrate on other areas both athletically and academically. Also, the new state-of-the-art equipment will help every Utah State student-athlete improve his or her competitive performance.” Evan Simon, Utah State Head Strength and Conditioning Coach”A new strength and conditioning center at Utah State will give my staff the equipment and space to better accommodate our student-athletes’ schedules, and at the same time give the student-athletes more incentive to be successful. This facility will be a great showpiece for the whole university and something we can all be proud of.” -USU-
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