Jacksonville University has announced plans to begin construction in late spring of a 26,000-square-foot "basketball performance center" that will include coaches’ offices, weight room, training room and a full court and a half of play surface.
The facility will serve as the future home of the university’s day-to-day basketball operations and will be built next to Historic Swisher Gymnasium, which will continue as JU’s venue for home games.
“This project has been a top priority for our university and athletics department for several years,” said Senior Vice President and Athletics Director Alex Ricker-Gilbert in an email to WJCT News.
The university expects the center to be completed by the summer of 2021.
“A new centrally located facility will impact our programs’ culture tremendously,” women’s basketball head Coach Darnell Haney said in the same email, adding, “A one-stop shop where we can train, build team camaraderie, and attract top recruits will help us compete at a high level.”
Ricker-Gilbert said in an increasingly competitive landscape, facilities matter.
WJCT News partner The Florida Times-Union reported the performance center will cost $8 million.
“This basketball facility will have a significant impact on our student-athletes’ welfare and experience at Jacksonville University,” men’s basketball head Coach Tony Jasick said.
The announcement follows the competition of JU’s ASPIRE Campaign, which the university said was the largest fundraising initiative in its history.
ASPIRE helped establish the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences, completed the 8,600-square-foot Jacksonville Lacrosse Center and built the 11,750-square-foot Frisch Welcome Center. It also included new scholarships and student housing improvements.
Additionally, a multi-million-dollar investment was made for improvements to D.B. Milne Field, Historic Swisher Gymnasium, Sessions Stadium and the Pruitt Softball Complex.