Wisconsin Football: New Athletic Village Catching Recruits' Attention
If the University of Oregon and Florida State University have taught us anything, it is the simple fact that size and sophistication do matter—when it comes to facilities.
The University of Wisconsin is quickly approaching top-tier status as a football program and is now trying to build the facilities to match its ambition. The current locker rooms, classrooms and weight room are "fine" but may look downright medieval when compared to other schools' digs.
Barry Alvarez is looking to fix that.
Earlier this year, the university started to build a $76.8 million "Athletic Village" wrapping around Camp Randall. Reminiscent to its steak over sizzle style of play, this "hub" is designed get the job done according to associate athletic director Justin Doherty.
"The goal here isn't to be over the top. It's not to be the fanciest, the most expensive possible facility. Were trying to do something were proud of, something that fits our landscape here," said Doherty.
Those jackhammers may sound like music to the Badger coaching staff's ears as any and all competitive edges are welcome on the field or on the recruiting trail.
Phase 1: Protect This House
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Rome and stadiums share a common trait: neither can be built in a day.
So, the university has outlined a three phase plan beginning this year and slated to end in January 2014.
According to Madison.com, the first evolution of the project concentrates on Camp Randall turf as well as other stadium upgrades. These renovations probably won't have recruits chomping on the bit unless they are more interested in botany and engineering than football next year.
Regardless, this move lays down the foundation to keep the home field advantage, exactly that, an advantage.
Phase 2: Raise the Roof
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
If the first phase goes largely unnoticed by the public at large, the second step of the master plan should raise a few more eyebrows.
The work on this plan should kick off in July 2012 and will address a host of needs.
The roof of the current athletic training facility known as the McClain Athletic Facility will be replaced in addition to its north wall.
Next up, crews will reconstruct and remodel the lower level locker rooms and showers as well as build a "multi-media instructional space."
Phase 3: The Sparkle
The last phase of the plan is where the drywall meets shock and awe.
Here is the final step before the Wisconsin Badgers can start holding their heads up high when recruits make that crucial on campus visit. Planners are slotting around 15 months for completion.
During that span, a three-story 32,088-square foot addition will be erected on the north side of the stadium and will come complete with study rooms, a computer lab and the crown jewel: a 17,000-square foot Strength and Conditioning Center.
While other Big Ten schools can claim their versions are more expansive (like the University of Nebraska), the new and improved weight room will finally give the Badgers an edge over the UW-Whitewater Warhawks whose own weight room currently boasts more than 3,000 square feet than its Madison counterpart.