The football team’s Edberg-Olson facility will undergo extensive renovations.
The football program is preparing to break ground for a $9 million expansion and renovation of Edberg-Olson Hall’s weight room and academic support area, although $2 million in private funding is still being raised.
The Board of Trustees approved a recommendation for the project for the practice facility, located at 10th and Diamond streets, at a meeting on Oct. 11. The facility is slated to begin construction in the coming weeks and is expected to be completed next fall.
At a recent hearing before the state Senate Appropriations Committee, President Ann Weaver Hart said she hopes the project will be complete sometime this summer, in time for the 2012 football season.
While the project calls for additional funding, Deputy Athletic Director Eric Roedl said the construction costs will rely on an ongoing fundraising campaign from private donors. The donors that support the expansion project will participate in a naming opportunity for the facility, including rights to the expanded wing, for $1.5 million.
The donations for the expansion are being accepted by anyone in support of the program, Roedl said.
The expansion has been discussed for “a few years” and now, with the full support of the university, construction shovels are expected to hit the ground soon, Roedl added.
Plans for the project include expanding the weight room from 2,500 square feet to approximately 10,000 on the lower level.
“This will make the weight room in line to handle the number of student athletes who use it,” coach Steve Addazio said. “There’s a lack of room and the students need to go in shifts.”
“We’re just a little too crowded over there with the size of our football program versus the square footage in the existing facility,” Roedl said. “So by expanding the facility, we’re giving our student athletes more room to recover in the training room area, we’re giving them more room to work out, we’re giving our coaches a greater ability to work with a greater portion of our student-athletes at once by having more space.”
Addazio added that players are at risk of injury in an overcrowded weight room.
With space projected to quadruple, the training area will upgrade its sports medicine office with a hydrotherapy area for water rehab as well as other treatment functions.
Roedl said Edberg-Olson, which opened in 2000, had weaknesses in “critical areas” that hurt the program’s football players’ opportunity to train and prepare. The main weaknesses preventing Edberg-Olson from becoming a state-of-the-art facility were its lack of space for strength and conditioning and a lack of storage space.
“I think it’s a great statement for the support of Temple University of Temple football and that the facility is a real critical element to our success,” Roedl said. “It’s going to be a wonderful facility for our student-athletes and our coaches and it will be an attractive facility as we go out and continue to recruit as well.”
“Training, injury recovery, strength training, all of those things that prepare student athletes to be successful…are a critical part of their success on the field but also for their personal safety,” Hart said. “This will be a real contribution to our Temple football program and to the university athletics at large.”
The addition will also create a full-service academic support area, along with a 3,500-square-foot team function room on the second floor of the facility. The space will create further resources for the student-athletes and will be used to host recruits.
“It’s all about the welfare of the students,” Addazio said. “It’s something that will improve student athletes’ experience academically and athletically.”
“We want to meet the standards of major college football programs,” Addazio added. “Obviously people in recruiting pay attention to the recruiting facilities that a program has. Where we’re working at isn’t anywhere near any other big programs right now.”
Connor Showalter can be reached at email@example.com.