Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton discussed the new athletic department facility upgrades presently going on."> Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton discussed the new athletic department facility upgrades presently going on.">

MSU Athletic Department Facilities Growing

<img src="http://www.genespage.com/images/admin/larrytempleton.jpg" align="left"> Mississippi State athletic director Larry Templeton discussed the new athletic department facility upgrades presently going on.

Mississippi State's athletic department is currently building or in the beginning stages of building an addtiion to the Shira Fieldhouse, the Rafael Palmeiro Baseball Center, an indoor facility for softball and a couple of new parking lots.

  • Shira Fieldhouse, which was originally opened in the mid-1970's, has since had 17,404 square feet of new total floor space added at a cost of $1,040,500. Included in that addition was a new football locker room. Also recently upgraded was the 50-yard long indoor practice field, which was covered with Sprinturf about a year ago.

  • The Rafael Palmeiro Baseball Center, which will be built behind the west end of the current baseball stadium, will include a complete indoor infield size area.

  • The new softball indoor facility will be built next to the left field area of the current softball field. Depending on the final plans, it could include a team meeting room, locker room, training room and two VIP rooms as well as the indoor practice area.

  • Several new parking lots are also being added next to the football stadium and near the Lloyd-Ricks building.

  • A welcome center on the south end of the football stadium is also in the planning stages but won't begin construction until this year's football season is completed.

    What is the addition to the Shira Fieldhouse going to include?
    "It is a two-floor facility that is 46,000 square feet in size. It will include a new football (practice) dressing room, a (ultra-modern) training room and a new weight room. Included in the locker room will be a lounge area where they will be able to relax. It will also have video equipment that they can watch. The old meeting rooms, training room and dressing rooms will also be renovated as part of this project. Track will get the old football locker room. The meeting rooms will be enlarged so that we can use them for more than just football."

    What is the total price of the addition?
    "It will cost about 5.8 million dollars."

    When you include the addition, what would a facility like Shira Fieldhouse bring in today's market?
    "It would probably be a 20 million dollar facility on today's market."

    You mentioned that Shira Fieldhouse is going to be renovated. Is anything going to be done to the outside of the building?
    "It is going to look so much better because it is going to change the appearance of the building as you come to it. You will no longer see the east end of the building any longer."

    When do you expect the project to be completed?
    "We are shooting to have it completed by recruiting season sometime in January."

    The new basketball scoreboard is currently being installed. How long will it take to complete it?
    "Because there are some major structural steel problems in the roof, I'm hoping we will have it installed by August 20th."

    Where do you currently stand with the Rafael Palmeiro baseball center?
    "We are trying to get the document ready to bid on the gift from Palmeiro."

    Do you know what the final cost will be for the center?
    "I really don't know because we are continuing to add to it. We are still contemplating the size of it."

    What size options are you considering?
    "Either big or huge. We don't really know the square footage yet. The amount of total gifts will determine the final size. Right now, it's a full indoor infield. But it will probably be much bigger than that."

    Talk a little about the new indoor facility for softball.
    "The softball addition is a gift from one of the player's parents. It will include a dressing room, a meeting room and an indoor area (facility) that will be built adjacent to the softball field where the batting cages currently are (in the left field area)."

    When will the softball project begin?
    "We hope it will start sometime in August and, hopefully, be completed by January."

    When is the new welcome center going to be built?
    "It will begin after the football season. We will have the parking lot ready prior to the football season, but not the welcome center. We have to change the roads at five-points first. It will be ready for next year's football season."

    You mentioned the new parking lot on the west side of the football stadium. How much parking will it add?
    "That will be Bulldog Club parking that will include 196 paid parking spaces. Over by Lloyd-Ricks there will be a 100-car parking lot that will be used as part of Lot 11. The street to the south of Lloyd-Ricks (Stone Blvd.) is no longer there. This is the first phase of changing all the streets on the south end of the stadium. Next summer the street in front of the Leo Seal Building will be removed and the street near Dorman Hall will be moved closer to Dorman Hall."

    How much additional parking will the removal of five-points add?
    "That won't be parking, but a duplication of the drill field at the south end of the football stadium. It will become a gathering point on gameday."

    Click on the thumbnail picture to view a larger version of it.

    Shira Fieldhouse Addition

    Rafael Palmeiro Center

    Rafael Palmeiro Center

    Softball Facility

    Softball Facility

    Softball Facility

    Stadium Parking Lot

    Lloyd-Ricks Parking Lot

    Lloyd-Ricks Parking Lot

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the Dawgs' Bite, Powered by GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on TheInsiders.com sports network. You can contact him by email at swindoll@genespage.com.

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