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R B1G Build is moving ahead, so it must be time to plan for more construction

It has been a month since the first dollar amount was announced for the facilities campaign. And we can't let grass grow beneath our feet.

Early rendering of renovated/expanded Hale Center
Early rendering of renovated/expanded Hale Center
Rutgers Athletics

We've got captains, we've got more donors, we've got more money.

The R B1G Build is going well.  Not close to being at 100% but most of us are probably amazed at how well we've already done....for Rutgers.

A month ago when the first announcement was made, we were more than half way to the goal of $100 million.

Now, a month into the public announcements of where we are, the campaign has grown by $1,261,751 and added 292 donors.  A million or so a month isn't bad, but we're gonna need a lot more....and a lot faster.

Enter the Captains program.  In the words of the press release:

The Program will identify 100 Captains and is one of many strategies to engage 10,000 prospective contributors, who will pledge a monthly gift for five years.

"Great progress has been made thus far in ‘R B1G Build,' but we cannot do it on our own," said Senior Associate Director of Athletics Sarah Baumgartner. "We need the help of the many people who love Rutgers. This may include former teammates, classmates, fraternity brothers, sorority sisters, tailgating friends and co-workers.

"We need Captains to raise awareness and to help educate our fans and friends about the impact of support. This networking and communication element is critical to provide our student-athletes the necessary resources to successfully compete in the Big Ten."

Captains will agree to pledge a monthly gift for five years as well as recruit a team with as many donors as possible to enroll in the monthly pledge program for R Big Ten Build.

I'm a captain.  [waits for applause to die down].  I always wanted my name on something - and with my finances it wasn't going to be a building - so I pledged to get my name on two lockers in the wrestling locker room.  We need more.  Think about it - even a pledge of $10/month for five years helps.  And gets Rutgers to the 10,000 donors/$100 million mark faster.

Which brings me to the next building plan.  No use waiting.

Keith Sargeant has a piece on Pat Hobbs and his first year in office.  Right, first year.  The first six months was the sprint to get things started (fire a coach/hire a coach...repeat) including the R B1G Build.

But now, it's time to refocus.  As Hobbs said in the story:

"Still, the emphasis is going to be on fundraising and facilities. We really need to get all the facilities done. Every day sort of another need becomes pretty apparent. So the fundraising is what we have to focus on.''

Get all the facilities done.  Ahh, Pat, that's why I'm here.

If you look at the R B1G Build site, you'll see the schematics/drawings for the various new buildings (except for the Hale Center).  Hobbs has said that he's been tweaking the designs as they go along, and he's also looking to develop a strategic plan:  what comes next, what goes where.  Just like we've talked about here.

And clearly, you need to keep looking forward.  At some point, the $100 million will be raised.  At some point, the Multisport Complex and the Lacrosse, Soccer & Tennis Complex and the Football Complex will be completed.  Then what?  Well, you raise some more money and you build some more.  And the faster this current campaign gets completed, the faster we can move forward...again.

What comes next, 2.0

Okay, we've put out our plan(s) and, just like Rutgers, we'll need to do some tweaking.  Here's the revised OTB B1G Build plan, focusing on the area around the RAC.  First, here's what the area under consideration currently looks like:

I love the Google Maps reference to the RAC as the "Legendary venue for college basketball".  So, what are we building?

1. Move and rebuild the field hockey field and the track

The field hockey field should never have been put into the center of the track.  That kind of design/layout had been done successfully  elsewhere, but it takes away from both sports.  Put it in the area of the other "field sports" (soccer and lacrosse) by Yurcak Field.  Then build a new, expanded track & field facility with real seating, lights, fan amenities, etc.  And you'll need to move it over a bit to fit in the next items.

2. Build a multi-purpose indoor facility near the new track including an indoor track facility

The only place track & field can practice in the winter or during inclement weather is the Bubble....along with every other sport that needs an indoor space.  Build a multi-purpose facility that can accommodate track - including competitions - as well as other sports and events, including recreation and community events.  Think Texas A&M's Gilliam Indoor Stadium or more likely Penn State's Multi-Sport Facility, which includes "a 200-meter track with spectator seating and amenities, basketball courts, locker rooms, a strength training room and storage, a turf field, and serves both the new indoor and the existing outdoor tracks. Both the men's and women's track teams practice and compete in this facility, which is also accessible to a variety of other college sports."  Putting it adjacent to the now-moved outdoor track allows shared core-facility usage.

3. Build an ice hockey facility

Right, we need a team first.  Well, by the time this gets going, we'll have one.  I truly hope....and believe.  And a well-planned facility can be monetized.  Besides hosting a University team, it can be used for recreation (cha-ching!) with outside groups and individuals looking for ice time.

Which makes the area look something like this:

It's all speculative, but you need to dream big and you need to plan for what you need and want.  Hobbs in essence said that literally every day, something comes up that emphasizes how much we need to do, what new issue comes up to point out our needs.  And in this proposal, I bypassed baseball, softball, rowing, the restoration of lost sports, as well as any work on the RAC.  But it's a start, just as R B1G Build is a start.  And we all need to get used to the idea that it isn't ever going to stop.

Want to donate to R B1G Build?  Click here.

Want to give to another area of the University?  Click here.