First, let's give a tip of the hat to Keith Sargeant who has been on the facilities case from the outset. Keith was provided information from Rutgers, I'm guessing asked to embargo it until the Board of Governors voted on the plan, and then released it. And here is his piece on it. I'm not going to restate what he's got. Go read it, then come back here to comment. I'll wait.
Julie Hermann had been pretty quiet on the subject. It was just this week, on Tuesday, that the second issue of Scarlet Knights Insider was published online and there, as the first question, was the beginning of "the reveal".
Q. What can fans expect from Dr. Barchi's athletic facilities announcement on June 18?JH: We are very excited to roll out the framework that the University has created for us. Having the opportunity to be in sync with the University's master building plan and to draft in behind their vision will give us an unprecedented opportunity. We're excited to have that framework revealed on June 18. From June 18 on, we will have an opportunity to do a deeper dive with our donors, those who can help champion and lift the project.
The details...or at least some
What was previously leaked as a basketball practice facility built with a parking garage (which still may be part of it) is now a multi-sport facility.
The new Multi-Use Facility, attached to the RAC, will be home to men's and women's basketball, gymnastics, wrestling and volleyball. These programs will have state-of-the-art locker rooms, practice venues, strength and conditioning and sport medicine suites, coaches' offices and meeting rooms. Wrestling and volleyball are proposed to be relocated from the College Avenue Gymnasium, while gymnastics will be relocated from the Livingston Recreation Center. The multi-use facility will be embedded within a four-story parking structure, with a direct connection from parking to the existing RAC at the second floor level.
Now, I don't want to brag, but I did kinda, sorta come up with some of these ideas myself. A while back. Like here. And here. And hhere, too. Back in March and I did it for free. You're welcome.
Getting the biggest bang for the buck, and doing it right, is what needs to happen. But not everyone may be real happy about sharing facilities.
Also, it looks like RU hoops will have to share the practice facility w/other teams; something those in the program expressly did not want— Jerry Carino (@NJHoopsHaven) June 18, 2015
With all due respect to Eddie, this ain't Duke. If this thing gets built, we should all be saying thank you to whomever paid for it and being very quiet with out criticisms.
Under the plan, Julie gets her Athletes' Village, too. The Busch campus will become a football center. Along with golf and swimming. All the other sports end up on Livingston surrounding the RAC. And that's an idea that I like; I liked it when I proposed it (I know, my arm is starting to hurt patting myself on the back). A athletics-centered area creates a place to go, a central area for fans to be.
The master plan proposes a reorganization of the facilities in the northern part of Livingston athletics district. Currently comprised of two multi-purpose fields, a softball complex, Bainton Field Baseball Complex and Bauer Track & Field/Field Hockey Complex, some of the facilities are partially located in environmentally sensitive areas. The new design proposes the implementation, over time, of a high quality practice and competition venues with optimal orientation for competition, connected by a central pedestrian spine and adjacent access from on Hospital Road. The newly configured complex will provide a distinctive and unique experience for student athletes, staff and spectators, with close proximity to surface parking. Tennis and soccer venues will be relocated from Busch to Livingston, to consolidate programs and provide dedicated practice and competition facilities
There is no time line. There is no sequence or prioritization, although if you ask Dave White, it's basketball first. Then basketball. And then basketball. How that gets done first in a building that will house multiple sports is not an impossibility. I once sat on my town's zoning board, and a colleague once told me, "Anything can be engineered if you're willing to put in the time, the energy, and the money."
Oh, right, the money
My first take: The scope of proposed athletic projects is immense and will position RU well in the B1G. Now, the minor detail of raising $— Dan Duggan (@DDuggan21) June 18, 2015
You ain't alone, Dan. As for that "deeper dive" with donors, better get a deep sea helmet. There will be some deeper diving because a number that was bandied about for this could go to $300 million. But that's a long term figure.
Okay, it's out. Whatcha think?