Fundraising for the Center for Athletic Excellence is nearly complete and a ceremony will be held shortly to commemorate the start of the building's construction.
The building, which will house basketball courts, an event space, flexible office space and the athletic department's academic center, will cost approximately $15 million to complete. As of last October, about $7 million had been raised. The total currently stands at $14 million, Associate Director of Athletics Mike Cragg said. There is no specific date yet planned for the groundbreaking, but it is expected to be sometime later this summer.
"We've had a lot of people step up with it," men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the fundraising.
One of the primary objectives for the facility was to alleviate the crunch for practice time in Cameron Indoor Stadium. Currently, four teams-men's and women's basketball, as well as wrestling and volleyball-use the facility.
During basketball season, the men's and women's teams split time in Cameron. The two extra courts in the Center for Athletic Excellence will allow the teams to practice simultaneously. The new structure will also afford more privacy to the current and former Blue Devils who return to Durham to work out.
"We not only share it with four teams but everyone wants to be in it, they want to have a meeting in there, a concert in there, graduations there," Krzyzewski said. "As a result, our time is limited."
Although the original plans did not contain much more than the two basketball courts, they have been expanded to include the event space and a new office for Academic Support Services.
The current academic space, which is housed in the Schwartz-Butters building, is too small, Krzyzewski said. In addition, the new project will provide a venue other than Cameron for events with 300-400 people.
"It addresses a lot of needs," he said. "Everyone in athletics will benefit from this building."
There will also be additional office space in the new building that Krzyzewski said would allow the Department of Athletics to be "innovative."
"I call it a center for excellent human performance," he said. "It comes at a good time; we are going to have these programs, not just a code of conduct or a code of values. We are going to actually put into principle some of these counseling services."
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