Metro Roundup: Samford University announces largest capital project in school history

Samford University will expand and renovate existing buildings to create a new recreation and sports complex, university officials announced on Wednesday.

The $65 million venture is the largest capital project in the university’s history.

The project will provide students and employees with expanded opportunities to improve their physical fitness and mental well-being, as well as new spaces for campus events and student gatherings. Additional facilities will provide new training and practice spaces for the university’s 17 Division I sports teams.

The new complex is part of an overall plan to expand student recreation, health and welfare.

Construction, which is expected to begin in early 2023, includes investments in four separate buildings totaling 154,000 square feet:

Seibert Room will be completely redesigned to include two basketball courts, a new multipurpose court, studios for fitness classes, an esports studio, dance studios, weight and cardio equipment, a multipurpose training area and common areas where students can congregate, with lounges, a cafe, and a 24-hour convenience store.

Bashinsky field house will be a completely renovated, dedicated facility for Samford student-athletes, featuring new team practice spaces and dedicated practice spaces for the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs.

A third building will be built adjacent to Seibert Hall and will encompass 20,000 square feet of recreation and event space. The new facility will include an indoor suspended track, additional basketball courts and cardio spaces, a sound system and staging to host campus events, a catering kitchen, a covered outdoor sports area, a pedestrian walkway and a Covered balcony that overlooks Bobby Bowden Field.

The first floor of Dwight and Lucille Beeson Center, located directly across from the complex, will also be renovated to serve as the new headquarters for the university’s health center and counseling services.

Cumulatively, the new and improved spaces in these four buildings will not only improve student well-being and life on campus, but also help recruit and retain future students and student-athletes, the university said in a statement. Press release.

“This project represents a substantial investment in the health and well-being of our students. We are committed to supporting our students in their educational and spiritual journeys, and we also want to support them in their physical and mental well-being,” said President Beck Taylor. “This new facility will enhance campus life and provide spaces for students to congregate, exercise, socialize and participate in many recreational activities.

“Students want to lead healthy lives, and we want their university to provide them with the opportunity to do so,” Taylor said. “From fitness and recreation to counseling and health services, this facility will meet the mental, physical and spiritual needs of students.

The university is funding $45 million of the project with current resources and is working to secure $20 million in philanthropic donations.

The complex is expected to be completed before the start of the fall semester 2024.

— Submitted by Holly Gainer

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