As expected, Baylor’s Board of Regents formally approved a host of new capital projects as part of the next five years of the University’s strategic plan. These projects include, among other things, renovation of resident halls, hiring new faculty, a Materials Laboratory at the BRIC, and the incorporation of a life-size sculpture of a mammoth in front of the Mayborn Museum as a reference to recent discoveries in the Waco area. More importantly (for our purposes here) and in relation to athletics, the Regents also announced approval of the next steps in the design and construction of a new football operations facility and the much-anticipated basketball pavilion (i.e., arena). Regarding the football operations center:
Moving forward on two athletics capital projects, the Board approved the naming of the Fudge Football Operations Center that will house the day-to-day operations of the Baylor football program. The Fudge Center is named in recognition of Kristy and Jeremy Fudge (BA ’97) of Parker, Texas, managing partner for Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP.
In addition to approving the name, the Board approved $6 million to begin phase 1 and design of the $65 million, 105,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility, which will be located along the Brazos River with views toward McLane Stadium. The construction timeline for the Fudge Football Operations Center will be announced in the near future.
And the basketball pavilion:
Regents also took action on the upcoming basketball pavilion, approving $1.2 million for additional design and pre-construction services and the naming of the facility, which will be announced at a later date. The Board will give final approvals on the total project cost and pavilion location in early 2022. The timeline for the future home of Baylor’s championship men’s and women’s basketball programs continues as initially scheduled, with the groundbreaking set for summer 2022.
I’ll note that these are preliminary, preparatory steps on both projects but still important developments as Baylor Athletics moves forward. Both projects are critical to continuing to build Baylor’s football and basketball programs and demonstrate tremendous commitments to the viability of Baylor Athletics in the future.