Coaches move in

They're still finishing up installing the floor of the weight room, and other minor touches occupy workmen everywhere. But on the second floor, Mike Shula, his coaches and staffers are in the process of moving into their sparkling, new home.

(Above left) Corner view of the entrance into the new Football Complex Annex. When everything is finished, recruits, their families and certain staff members only will use this entrance. But as the existing building is being remodeled, it will temporarily serve as the public entryway as well.

View showing the front of the new construction. Personnel have already been moved out and work is now beginning on the old section of the building. When finished, the front facade of the two sections will blend nicely. Note the windows on the second floor, occupied principally by Randy Ross and the several members of Bama's Football Operations staff. To the far right of course is the corner entrance.

View down the sidewalk, through the gate at the Northwest corner, showing the back of the weight room. If you look closely, you can see the bottom of Shula's balcony. Athletes will use this entrance, with football players utilizing the new locker rooms that open onto the weight room. The Thomas-Drew Practice fields are out of frame to the right. In the right background is the roof of the Crisp Indoor Facility.

Of course the Northwest corner of the new building is two stories high, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out on the Thomas-Drew Practice Fields. (Note the practice field lights through the window.) The long section between the upper and lower windows is covered with a magnificent photo mural. Running left to right (early to present), the mural depicts Alabama's long and storied history as one of the two or three premier teams in all of college football.

Closer view of the mural, showing the script A Crimson Tide emblem. Through the windows to the right you can see where the new artificial turf practice field will be installed. Now of course it's a construction area. Beyond the fence with the green tarp to the left are the existing fields.

From this photo you get a good idea of the massive size of the new facility. Note to the far right the windows on the practice fields, and in the bottom background to the left you can see the glass doors to offices, which will be occupied by Bama's strength coaches. On the second floor, to the right are windows from Coach Mike Shula's office, to the left are a row of windows from staff meeting rooms that also look down on the weight room floor.

The two-story weight room area really only takes up about half of the overall floorspace. On the East and South edges of the new structure, offices occupy the second floor with the ground floor being only one story high. In this view you can see the area fronting the present parking lot (East edge). In the middle background is the corner where beverages and certain energy bars will be available. In the back right are bathrooms/small showers for athletes from other to use if needed.

Alabama's Director of Football Operations, Randy Ross, conducts business in his new office. Ross and his staff can be forgiven if things look a bit cluttered right now. They just moved in, and right now all that matters is that the phones work, their files have been put in the right room and there's electricity for the computers. Hanging pictures, arranging furniture, etc. will come soon enough. To the left you can see through Coach Ross's window, which overlooks the existing front parking lot.

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