Building a Bigger, Better Idaho

Yesterday afternoon we received a couple photographs of the weightroom expansion taking place at the Kibbie Dome. This will be a first-class facility when it is finished, and construction is well underway.

From the official University of Idaho website regarding this, the Second Phase of the Vandal Athletic Center (VAC) expansion:

"This project is an addition of about 8,000 square feet to the north end of the East End Addition of the Kibbie ASUI Activity Center for weight training/strength and conditioning, cardiovascular, a future hydrotherapy area and immediate life safety/egress requirements. This will meet immediate recruiting program objectives and fit within the available funding. This element of work will accommodate future expansion and renovation to include relocation of the football locker rooms, expansion of the training area, creation of a 150 seat classroom, some office relocation, and other adjustments in support spaces for athletes."

From an original official UI report on the VAC project:

The new weight room will increase in size by over 4000 square feet. The new 7000 square foot facility will provide a more conducive and productive environment to the quality and successful strength and conditioning program that already exists. The new facility will include plyometric and speed stations as well as new Powerlift equipment including platforms, squat racks, free-weights and benches. Designed to enable as many athletes as possible to effectively maximize their workout, the addition of space and new equipment will provide a more functional strength training facility to enhance the performance of all varsity athletes.

This is a significant improvement, and something we should all be proud to be supporting. How significant? To give you an indication, our weight room will be more than doubling in size, up to 7,000 square feet (its somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 square feet right now). Montana's is in the neighborhood of 7,000 sq feet (renovated in 1999). Boise State's is in the neighborhood of 7,500 sq feet (and looking to expand). Utah State does not publish the size of its weight room. The University of Utah's weightroom is 7,500 square feet. North Texas' weight room is 6,144 square feet (also exploring expanding). New Mexico State boasts a 13,500 square foot facility (one of the biggest in the nation), complete with an indoor 40-yard track (of course, we host intercollegiate indoor track meets on our indoor track...). Most of the PAC-10 is in the 10,000+ square foot range (Oregon State has a 6,000 square foot weight room).

The point of all this is that the changes being made to the VAC are enormous, and will go a significant way to level the playing field regionally and within our conference, both in recruiting and in preparing ALL of our athletes to perform at their best.

The scope of the entire Vandal Athletic Center project (in addition to the weight room) includes a new 4000 square foot Athletic Training Room, locker rooms, Vandal Hall of Fame and Reception Area overlooking the Kibbie Dome floor for VSF functions and game day events (among other things), a 150 seat classroom, computer labs, and coaches offices. As we get more information on all of these changes, including photos and artist renderings, we will do our best to post them here.

What can you do to help? Support the team, the school and the Program by joining the VSF, buying season tickets, and (probably equally important) encouraging others to do the same. Every little bit helps, and every donation makes a difference.

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