$25 million practice facility to help VCU Rams recruit top basketball talent

Posted at 8:42 AM, Mar 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-11 08:42:54-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - Getting the nation's top high school basketball players to commit to your school is one of the fastest ways to build a powerful college basketball program. Having a state-of-the-art training and practice facility is one of the best ways to attract that talent.

VCU announced Monday construction of its long planned $25 million VCU Basketball Complex will begin this spring.

"From a recruiting perspective, I think if our fans saw what a lot of programs have, and programs that our fans think we should beat every single time we take the court, it's really important for us to have this building," VCU Director of Athletics Ed McLaughlin said.

In addition to practice courts for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams the 60,000-square foot building will have locker rooms, coaches offices, strength and conditioning areas, players lounges, laundry and equipment room, a video suite and a players dining room, according to the university.

"It really centralizes, for us, all of our athletic operations," VCU Rams men's basketball coach Shaka Smart said. "And just a short walk away is our academic support programs and the classes our guys attend are not far away either."

The university said $14.5 million of the building's estimated $25 million cost was raised through private donations making this the "single largest private fundraising project in VCU Athletics history."

The remaining $10.5 million was acquired through "non-state funding," according to VCU.

“We aren’t using any new university fees for this project,” VCU Executive Associate Athletic Director Glenn Hofmann told “Any university fee revenue that we are getting currently we are reallocating to some extent to the practice facility.”

The VCU Basketball Complex inside the HDL, Inc. Athletic Village will be built behind the Siegel Center on W. Marshall St. The university expected construction to last 15 months.