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Groundbreaking Set For Coors Events Center Practice Facility

Mar 24, 2010

BOULDER - The University of Colorado will host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday (March 25), signifying the start of a project that will erect a new basketball and volleyball practice facility adjacent to CU's Coors Events Center.

The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. and features speakers that include CU-Boulder Chancellor Phil DiStefano, CU athletic director Mike Bohn, as well as CU coaches and athletic alumni.  The event is free and is open to the public; those interested in attending can park in the garage structure (Lot 436) off Regent Drive and Colorado Avenue. 

Mark Johnson, the voice of the Buffs on Clear Channel networks, will be master of ceremonies for the event, which will take place on the north side of the Coors Events Center.  The actual groundbreaking will be on the grass hill just below the basketball operations center near the loading dock area.  Should weather prevent an outdoor ceremony, it will be relocated inside the building.

The project will be the first dramatic change to the Coors Events Center since it opened in 1979 after taking two years to build.  The facility addition will sit directly adjacent to the north side of Coors Events Center and will add 35,000 square feet of space and feature two dedicated basketball/volleyball courts, modern locker rooms, coaches' offices and team meeting rooms for the women's volleyball team.  

The target date for completion is August 2011, in time for fall training camp for the volleyball team, though officials are optimistic it could be completed anywhere from one to three months earlier.  Cost of the project is $10.8 million, to be funded from private donations.

"This transformational court facility will provide the Buffaloes with unprecedented, year-round opportunities to enhance the development of the men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball programs for the long term," Bohn said.  "All three sports will be able to practice simultaneously and we will also be making operational improvements to the existing space in the Coors Events Center."

Bohn said the access to high-quality practice facilities for all sports simultaneously also will "eliminate challenges associated with aligning practice times with class schedules for student-athletes." 

The Coors Events Center is also used for other events such as conferences, concerts and during the academic school year for exams.  The addition of the practice facility eliminates many conflicts for use not only within the schedules of the three sports, but also with University and greater Boulder community uses of the facility.

The structure will match the campus architectural Charles Klauder theme, a northern Italian, rural Tuscany influence, with varicolored sandstone and red-tiled roofs to match the other 200-plus buildings on the CU-Boulder campus.

The schematic design received unanimous approval last December from the University's Design Review Board, and the project had been previously approved by CU's Board of Regents.