Late this spring, Bradley will follow up with the Markin Family Student Recreation Center’s success by welcoming a brand new $50 million athletic performance center to campus.
At 165,000 square feet, the Athletic Performance Center’s large size has made it one of campus’s biggest projects, said Mike Keup, director of recreation and athletic facilities.
Construction of the facility broke ground in the late spring of 2008 and has kept on schedule ever since.
On Monday, the first roof truss was set in place. The roof of the building will resemble the arch shape of the former Robertson Memorial Field House, which was torn down in April of 2008.
“We are making great progress and I am pleased with the university’s commitment to continue to improve Bradley’s campus,” said Kim Green, the planning supervisor in the facilities management department.
The new facility will be home to women’s basketball and volleyball teams’ home games as well as the Puterbaugh Men’s Basketball Practice Facility. The practice facility will feature state-of-the-art facilities to view scouting tapes, conditioning rooms and training resources, complete with whirlpool hydrotherapy, a personal team theater, a players’ lounge and a weight room.
The extra space in both the men’s practice facility and the arena will allow space for teams to eliminate scheduling conflicts.
“I’m excited, I think it’s going to be a good addition to the campus, and for us as a team,” said junior basketball player Anthony Thompson.
The intention of the Athletic Performance Center is not only to benefit the athletic teams, but to serve as a large addition for the whole student body. The facility will have the ability to accommodate hundreds of fans with 4,200 seats available and four locations for concessions.
“There is a direct impact on the student body,” Keup said. “[The Athletic Performance Center] is designed in a way that every seat is a good one and that they are comfortable.”
The arena will enable Bradley to host major concerts as well as speakers, both comedic and educational, from larger venues. In addition to using the facility to bring entertainment to campus, Keup said he hopes the Athletic Performance Center will be use for student-hosted activities such as greek events.
“Overall, I think the new Athletic Performance Center will boost student enthusiasm about sports, because with the new facility more students will want to go and support the teams at home games,” said junior psychology major Cortney Dammeier.
The Athletic Performance Center along with the Puterbaugh Men’s Basketball Practice Facility are expected to be completed in the late spring of 2010.