Dawgs to open to facility Friday

ATHENS - The University of Georgia Athletic Association will cut the ribbon on its new $30 million Stegeman Coliseum Training Facility on Friday, Aug. 31, in a 4:00 p.m. invitation-only ceremony.

Covering more than 120,000 square feet, the Training Facility is the new home of Georgia's men's and women's basketball and gymnastics squads.

"This facility represents the first major capital project under this administration, and I'm extremely pleased with the end result, said UGA Director of Athletics Damon Evans. "The real beauty of this building is that it will positively impact our entire student-athlete population. Finally, I want to acknowledge the hard work and diligence of our staff--particularlyArthur Johnson, Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations, and Charley Whittemore, Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities-who have worked long and hard to make this project a reality."

Each basketball team has access to its own full-length practice court and the gymnastics team has a 16,000-square-foot practice gym with self-contained training areas for each apparatus. Each sport also has coaches' offices, locker rooms, lounges, and video assessment and meeting rooms.

The history of each sport is commemorated with displays, including photographs, trophies, archives, graphics and interactive kiosks.

The Coliseum Training Facility also houses a weight-training facility for all of the Olympic sports. The new weight room, which is almost triple the size of the previous weight room in Stegeman Coliseum, is furnished with state-of-the-art equipment.

"It's everything we had hoped for," women's basketball coach Andy Landers said. "It could very well be the nicest facility of its kind in the entire country. It will serve our student-athletes well as they strive to be the best that they can be. Perhaps its greatest compliment is that it's a very functional building. It's well thought out, well designed and meticulously appointed."

"It's a dream come true," gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan said. "It's something I've dreamt of coming to fruition. It's magnificent to watch the girls' faces light up every day when they come into this building. They all appreciate the opportunity to train in a facility like this andthey don't take it for granted. I feel like this is the greatest gift I can give to them. It truly honors our success, demonstrates a commitment to this program and showcases the importance of gymnastics in our town and in the community."

"Put simply, this is an extraordinary facility," men's basketball coach Dennis Felton said. "Everyone's reaction has been the same: they can't quite believe how great it is! Our student-athletes can now know that they enjoy working out in the finest facility of its kind in the country. We have the greatest fans and support, and it's that kind of support that makes a facility of this magnitude possible. For that we are very, very grateful."

During the ceremony, several areas will be specially named, including the Suzanne Yoculan Gymnastics Center, the Liz Murphey Viewing Gallery, the Richard B. Taylor Georgia Room and the Daniel F. Parker, Sr., Family Interactive Gallery.

Also included in the Coliseum Training Facility are a loading dock for Stegeman Coliseum and a storage/inventory area for non-football equipment.

"To finish this project on time and within the allocated budget took great teamwork and cooperation between Choate Construction Company andthe Project Manager, Gwynne Darden, from the Office of University Architects and the owner's on-site representative, John Casey," said Arthur Johnson, Georgia's Associate AD for Internal Operations. "The Athletic Association certainly appreciates their efforts."


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