COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a world in which football facilities have waterfalls and slides, South Carolina football is close to having the official groundbreaking on its operations building.
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner believes that groundbreaking will take place in February. Work has already started.
“I think that we are going to have a fabulous building that is going to be impactful for the daily necessities of a college football player,” Tanner said. “I would say there will some bells and whistles, but maybe not to the extent that you have heard at other places.”
Tanner, speaking Tuesday following a board of trustees meeting, said a fence already is up and equipment is on site as work will soon be pushing ahead. The new facility will cover 110,000 square feet and will house a recruiting center, locker room, training room, weight room, meeting rooms and coaches offices.
“We are doing a little bit (of work),” Tanner said. “It has begun. The project was approved. … We are moving forward now. In the days to come, you will see more activity.”
On Tuesday, South Carolina alum and Houston Texans owner Bob McNair and his wife, Jane, made a $5 million donation toward the $30 million fundraising goal.
Tanner said the details of the building are mapped out and that coach Will Muschamp had a chance to “get his fingerprints on it” because of the timing of his hire.
“He was very much involved,” Tanner said. “He didn’t send assistants to the meetings, he came to the meetings. He engaged in the aspects that were very important to our football operation. … Coach Muschamp was very much involved in the design of this facility.”
Muschamp has been very vocal in his excitement for the new facility, which will be next to the recently built indoor practice facility.
“Once that is completed, I feel like we will be on par with anyone in the country not just the Southeastern Conference,” Muschamp said in August. “We will give every young man in the state of South Carolina, if they want to come to Carolina, there’s no reason not to.”