Tech unveils updated expansion plans

Staff Report
In June of 2010, Louisiana Tech officials unveiled “Quest for Excellence,” a capital campaign geared toward greatly enhancing the university’s athletic facilities.
Since that announcement more than three years ago, “Q4E” has become a visible reality. More than $3 million has been invested in numerous facility renovations, additions and improvements, including the baseball locker room and ticket office, the softball stands, press box and fence, the soccer lights, the Scotty Robertson Memorial Gym court and the court, video display board and sound system in the Thomas Assembly Center.
These improvements, along with the university’s strong academic and athletic reputation, solidified Louisiana Tech’s invitation into Conference USA; Tech joined C-USA July 1.
“Since the inception of ‘Quest for Excellence,’ the University has made great strides in a number of its athletic facilities,” Tech Athletics Director Tommy McClelland said in a university release. “Facilities are the lifeblood to a college athletic department, and Louisiana Tech has benefited tremendously by the more than $3 million already donated and invested through this campaign. It was one of the driving forces behind our invitation to join Conference USA.”
The next phase in continuing the “Quest for Excellence” and the centerpiece of the capital campaign is the construction of the new south end zone complex, which will close the south end of Joe Aillet Stadium.
During a Monday lunchtime press conference, McClelland and Tech President Les Guice unveiled updated plans for the 70,000-square-foot-plus facility.
“I am truly excited about the impact that this facility is going to have on our campus and our entire region,” Guice said. “Through the leadership of the committee headed by Steve Davison and Tommy McClelland, I believe this first phase of the south end zone project will establish a strong foundation for further expansion of our facilities and enrichment of the Louisiana Tech experience for all of our students, fans and guests. There is still much more to do in achieving our vision for ‘Quest for Excellence,’ but this is an exciting milestone and an important step in reaching our goals.”
McClelland announced that the projected timeline for the groundbreaking on the facility is the spring of 2014 with a projected operational date prior to the 2015 football season.
“We know that this project is vitally important to our student-athletes, our student body and our fans,” McClelland said. “Through a lot of hard work by a lot of people we are closing in on the actual construction of this state-of-the-art facility. It will be a game changer for our athletic department and athletic programs in so many ways.”
The three-story athletic facility will benefit all Louisiana Tech student-athletes as it will include a new state-of-the-art strength and conditioning complex utilized by all 16 of the university’s athletic programs. The new weight room is more than twice the square footage of the existing one with double height space maximizing natural light. It will include a field view of Joe Aillet Stadium as well as a supplement and nutrition bar.
However, the weight room is just one aspect of the $18 million-plus project. The building also will house football coaches’ offices, football locker room, team and position meeting rooms, club seating and a multi-functional dining space that can be utilized for athletic and campus events.
The facility’s second story will include the football coaches’ offices and team and position meeting rooms. The 143-seat capacity, theatre-style meeting room will include state-of-the-art sound and video equipment and will be used for team meetings and athletic department press conferences and other events.
The club level will include luxury premium seating options with 302 chair back seats, multi-functional dining space seating up to 360, a private dining room with field view and a full service commercial kitchen. 
Besides generating additional revenue streams for the university and athletic department, this area will be utilized for campus, student and community events.

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