The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees has approved $800,000 for the demolition of Memorial Stadium and related work. The site, adjacent to Gampel Pavilion, will be cleared to build a new basketball development center for the men’s and women’s basketball teams. The stadium was built in 1953 and was home to UConn football games until the program moved to Rentschler Field in East Hartford, CT. Photo source: Wikicommons - public domain photo
The University of Connecticut Board of Trustees has approved $800,000 for the demolition of Memorial Stadium and related work.
The site, adjacent to Gampel Pavilion, will be cleared to build a new basketball development center for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Memorial Stadium was where the UConn football team played its home games before it moved to Rentschler Field in East Hartford in 2003.
The stadium has been rarely used outside of joggers using its steps for a workout, but the field has been used for athletics and intramural programs.
Demolition work is expected to begin in early spring.
Trustee Francis Archambault Jr. said the new basketball facility has been “in the works” for more than a year and has long been a need for the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
“Both Hall of Fame coaches (women’s basketball Head Coach Geno Auriemma and men’s basketball Head Coach Jim Calhoun) have been frustrated with the inability to practice as much as they would like,” said Archambault.
University officials plan to construct a 70,000-square-foot facility.
The project will be paid for solely through donations, of which the university has gotten approximately $17 million so far. It is expected to cost approximately $40 million.
It will have practice gyms, locker rooms, coaches’ offices and areas for academic support and training.
The building will be set up similar to the $48 million Burton Family Football Complex. That facility opened in the summer of 2006.
The goal is to finish construction of the basketball facility by late 2013 or early 2014.
Archambault said the new basketball facility would help the university “stay competitive” when recruiting student athletes.
The basketball facility is one of many athletic department projects planned for the campus. UConn also plans to improve facilities for softball, baseball and soccer.
Reportedly, $1 million has been raised for the baseball project and $4.5 million has been raised for the soccer project.
The goal is to finish all of the athletic department projects by 2014.
Although the basketball facility project is important, Archambault said there are other “more pressing needs” on campus, such as the need for a new recreational facility.
Archambault said another top priority is addressing the need for academic space, which is being addressed through the construction of two new classroom buildings.
One of these opened in the fall and the other is expected to be finished this summer.
The buildings are or will be used by departments in the Arjona and Monteith academic buildings.
Posted March 4, 2012 as edited and added to by HTNP.com Editor Brenda Sullivan
Related link: “Memories of Memorial Stadium,” UConnHuskies.com http://www.uconnhuskies.com/sports/m-footbl/spec-rel/110602aaa.html
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