New $45M football training facility approved

Star-studded verbal commitments weren't the only good news the Kentucky football program got this week.

Star-studded verbal commitments weren't the only good news the Kentucky football program got this week.

The UK Board of Trustees on Friday approved a plan to build a new $45-million football training facility adjacent to Commonwealth Stadium and the Nutter Field House. The proposal was also approved by the finance committee and will now be sent to the Council on Postsecondary Education and the Capital Projects and Bond Oversight Committee for authorization at their February 2014 meetings.

The project, targeted for completion prior to the 2016 season, is slated to be constructed with private funds. It will bring a two-story training facility, along with two practice fields and a large drill area behind the east end zone of Commonwealth Stadium.

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"As we continue to make a commitment to improving all of our facilities, this is a significant step for our football program," said UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart. "I'm very appreciative of the donors who are stepping up to help with this project. We look forward to completing the funding and design process."

"We are so excited to get this project started and I am thankful to all of those involved," Coach Mark Stoops said. "Once again, this is an indication of the great commitment from our administration and our supporters who are making this happen. This facility is already helping us in recruiting and will play a key role in the future of Kentucky football."

It's a time of unprecedented momentum for the UK football program, which is having its best recruiting season in school history coming off the first season for Stoops' staff. On Thursday, the Wildcats beat out Alabama for U.S. Army All-American defensive tackle Matt Elam.

In November of 2013, a $110-million renovation of Commonwealth Stadium was announced. That project – which will bring enhanced seating, private suites and a multi-purpose recruiting room, among other upgrades – is expected to be completed for the start of the 2015 season.

The current UK football training facility will be used to serve other student-athletes when the new facility is completed.

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