NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Athletic and educational leaders from Stephen F. Austin State University met near the William R. Johnson Coliseum on Monday to help break ground on the school’s new $26 million basketball practice facility.
Currently, the SFA men and women’s teams share time on the main court. The new facility will give each team their own practice space, and it will house offices for both men and women’s team coaches. It will also have a gym, locker rooms, lounges, and nutrition areas for athletes.
“The whole thing about being a student-athlete is time management,” said Kyle Keller, SFA’s men’s baskeball coach. “We have to share practice time. We have to share so many other things. This will allow us to be very inclusive.”
Ryan Ivey, SFA’s athletics director, added that part of the excitement of building a new facility included attracting top-tier recruits.
“I’m a firm believer that athletics is the front porch of any institution. Our job is to make sure that we paint that house that’s behind that porch in the most positive light possible.” Ivey added. “Having great facilities is part of that."
Construction will begin in the coming weeks, Keller said. He expected to have access to the facility by July 2020, and full completion by the beginning of 2021.
“We want to continue to win championships, and continue to play in the NCAA tournaments,” Keller said. “You have to attract students with great buildings on campus, and this is another building that our university is committed to building to attract better student-athletes. That’s what this is going to do for us.”
The facility is part of a larger school expansion that includes a Fine Arts Expansion Initiative, a Welcome Center, and Student Support Services One Stop Shop. The school is also planning on doing renovations to a residence hall and a dining hall.