UA to begin work on $25 million ‘Basketball Performance Center’

Construction of the University of Arkansas' Basketball Performance Center will begin early next month.

The groundbreaking ceremony for the $25 million facility will be held at 11 a.m., Dec. 7, at the future site of the Basketball Performance Center along Leroy Pond Road on the southeast corner of Bud Walton Arena between Bogle Park and The Gardens.

Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long., Arkansas head men's basketball coach Mike Anderson and Arkansas head women's basketball coach Tom Collen will be among those taking part in the festivities. The groundbreaking ceremony is open to Razorback Fans and members of the general public.

The 66,000-square-foot facility is scheduled to open as the Home of Razorback Basketball in the summer of 2015. The center will house all operational components for the men's and women's basketball teams including: two full-court gymnasiums, men's and women's locker rooms, a weight room, an athletic training room, coaches' offices, team meeting rooms, student-athlete lounge and study areas and an equipment room. The University of Arkansas is the only Southeastern Conference program without a basketball practice facility.

"The Basketball Performance Center will give us the ability to hold practices and other team related activities at any time of the day independent of other scheduled events at Bud Walton Arena," Long said in a statement. "It will also allow tremendous flexibility in accommodating student-athletes academic schedules to help further assist them on their track to graduation. The everyday use of the Basketball Performance Center will also allow us to explore more frequent and diverse uses of Bud Walton Arena. Additional campus and outside events could bring significant additional economic benefits to our region even beyond the current estimated $1 billion economic impact affiliated with Razorback Athletics in the next five years."

Fort Smith-based MAHG Architecture and Kansas City, Mo.-based Populous will lead the design team on the center while CDI Constructors (Fayetteville and Little Rock) will serve as the general contractor.

The Basketball Performance Center is one of three projects that is part of the Never Yield fundraising initiative. In addition to the Basketball Performance Center, the Never Yield campaign also will provide support for the baseball and track indoor training facility and the Student-Athlete Success Center. The baseball and track indoor training facility is under construction and targeted for completion in the summer of 2014.