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Groundbreaking set for new facilities

Proposed USD facility
Proposed USD facility

VERMILLION, S.D. (KWSN) —University of South Dakota will break ground on a Sports Performance Enhancement Facility Arena, a Science, Health and Research Lab, and an Outdoor Track and Soccer Complex the week immediately following spring commencement, which is set for May 10. The three projects carry an estimated cost of $66 million and a projected completion date ahead of the 2016-17 academic year.

The arena will be located directly south of the DakotaDome and will be comprised of a ground level main floor with a second-level concourse. It will provide a competition, practice and training facility for both basketball and volleyball athletic programs. The main competition court will be surrounded by 6,000 spectator seats, which include an integrated club space. Additionally, locker rooms for players, staff, officials and visiting teams are included in the design as are two full-length practice courts.

The Science, Health and Research Lab will be a one-story facility which will connect the DakotaDome with the new arena. The Lab will accommodate occupational therapy, physical therapy, kinesiology and sports sciences, and sports medicine programs. The facility will have collaborative spaces for the various programs as well as state-of-the-art classrooms, laboratory and clinical spaces. It will also house offices for athletic administration, men’s and women’s basketball coaches and volleyball coaches, and will include a 7,500 square feet weight room.

The outdoor track will be located directly north of the Wellness Center. The complex will include a nine-lane, NCAA certified outdoor track plus areas for pole vault, long jump, shot put, discus, hammer throw, javelin and triple jump events adjacent to the track running service.

Two soccer fields, one competition and one practice, are planned to the east of the track and bleacher seating. The fields will be turf grass with underground landscape irrigation provided. Bleacher seating for 2,000 will allow 1,000 seats for soccer events and 1,000 seats for track events.

USD soccer could begin competition at the new complex as early as fall of 2015. The Coyotes will host the 2016 Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships.

One of a kind

The arena will be one of the premier facilities of its size in the Midwest. By comparison, The Pentagon in Sioux Falls has a capacity of 3,200, and the Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls is expected to hold 12,000. It will also be one of the very few facilities, if not the only one, which will house an arena and an entire sports science department under one roof.

“To me, the best part of this process is the opportunity to have synergy between athletics and health sciences,” said USD athletic director David Herbster. “Not only will our student-athletes receive the best care and a more immediate and thorough rehab, but from an educational perspective, having the classrooms, meeting rooms and faculty all in one area is key to quality hands-on learning and an enhanced educational experience.”

The athletic training staff housed in the Lab will be equipped with a hydrotherapy room, hot and cold plunge pools and an area where athletes can run and bike underwater. The Lab will also contain a biomechanics lab and a therapeutic modality area.

Join the Clubs

Premium seating in the arena will include 60 courtside seats and 180 premium club seats spanning the north side of the court. Owners of those tickets will have exclusive access to the Arena Club – a hospitality suite directly behind the premium seating area which will provide members a place to congregate, socialize and network. The suite will offer food, drink, sitting and lounge areas, and wall-mounted televisions.

A similar, yet considerably larger hospitality suite will host the DakotaDome Club, which will be located north of the Arena Club and will overlook the south end zone of the football field. This 3,700 square feet area will be more than six times the size of Coyote Landing and could entertain approximately 400 patrons on game days. A warming kitchen and reception area will service both the Arena Club and DakotaDome Club suites.

For the teams

Student-athletes for basketball and volleyball will be treated to state-of-the-art locker rooms, which in addition to personal locker spaces, will feature a team lounge area where coaches and players can watch film, hold team meetings and focus on academics. The back side of the basketball locker rooms will lead directly onto each team’s respective practice court. In addition, a separate film room near the three team locker rooms is available and will double as a media work room and press conference area on game days.

Courtesy: University of South Dakota