IOWA CITY — Iowa’s new indoor football practice facility and adjacent outdoor practice fields will be completed by the time the program enters training camp, Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said Thursday.
The 100,000-square foot, fixed-roof facility replaces the 27-year-old Bubble, which was deflated on April 20. The Bubble had 72,000 square feet.
“I didn’t agree to take the Bubble down until I knew the indoor facility would be done in time for two-a-days,” Barta said.
The new practice facility is the first of two phases in a $55 million project for the football program. Phase II includes new locker, equipment and meeting rooms, strength and conditioning center, medical facility, coaches’ offices and a public entryway. Phase II has a targeted completion date of 2014.
Barta said the department has raised $20 million in private funds for the project with a fundraising goal of $35 million. The other $20 million will come from a short-term loan paid from department funds. Barta said the department has no plans to sell bonds for the project.
Barta said it’s too early to decide how to re-purpose the existing football building. Among the ideas he’s considered include renovating it for gymnastics use and/or turning it into a training table area for all athletes.
“This project will be going forward for about two years so I can’t pick a date yet,” Barta said.Construction on a $2 million, 7,500-square foot indoor golf practice facility located at Finkbine Golf Course began in March. Barta said it will be completed within a year. The facility was paid for entirely by private funds.