COLUMBIA, S.C. – During Friday afternoon’s meeting, the University of South Carolina’s Board of Trustees voted to approve Phase II of the football operations building.
The $50 million project will be funded by $47 million in athletic bonds with an additional $3 million in donations.
Athletics director Ray Tanner told the Board that he will continue to seek donations for the 105,000 square foot building, which will sit next to the indoor practice facility and practice fields.
The first floor will house the weight room, locker room and student lounge. Coaches’ offices, meeting rooms and a dining space will be on the second floor.
The project will now the move to the state level, before construction can begin.
Minutes after the approval by the Building and Grounds committee, the university’s released plans to name the promenade in Gamecock Park in honor of former QB Tommy Suggs, who made a “substantial gift” to the project.
“My parents joined me in the Gamecock Club my junior year at Carolina,” Suggs said in a release. “My family believed in giving back and Jane and I are pleased we can contribute to the many positive things happening at Carolina – both athletically and academically. Jane was the person who suggested The Garnet Way name and the excitement there on game day is a wonderful experience for both the fans and players alike.
“We are excited about the future of Carolina football under coach (Will) Muschamp and glad to be supporters.”
Board members voted to re-up on a 10-year contract with Gamecocks Sports Properties as the official multimedia partner of the university’s athletic department.
The athletic department is guaranteed $110 million over the contract’s term, which begins on July 1, 2017. Most of the funds will arrive in the form of rights fees, totaling $98.7 million. The contract includes an upfront sum of $4 million.
Building and Grounds committee members also voted to approve initial plans for a Gamecock sculpture project at Williams-Brice Stadium.
USC also considering building this incredible sculpture of an actual Gamecock outside Williams-Brice Stadium. pic.twitter.com/pQLHMWT4mL
— Avery Wilks (@AveryGWilks) September 16, 2016
Originally planned to stand 15-18 feet high, the bronze statue will be a three-dimensional structure with a scale that’s expected to “create a dramatic presence” at the front of the stadium near the intersection of George Rogers Boulevard and Bluff Road.
The Board approved a $995,000 budget that will be funded by gifts.