Some Numbers Behind the Construction

Feb. 23, 2012

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Just about anyone who is a sports fan knows the games are all about numbers: Points scored, yards gained, on base percentage, assists to turnover ratios, greens in regulation… The list goes on and on and on.

So here’s a few numbers and more not necessarily about “sport” but about something equally important to fans of the football program at the University of Iowa: The new indoor practice facility currently under construction immediately west of the UI Recreation Building and south of the Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility.

The structure will include 13 of the steel truss frames that are currently being installed at the work site. There will also be two “end walls” installed.

Each truss stands eight feet tall and clears a span of approximately 204 feet.

Each truss weighs approximately 12 tons.

The total length of the surface that will be underneath the roof of the indoor practice facility is 407 feet: A regulation football field plus 23 ½ feet behind each end zone. The total wide of the surface will be 214 feet.

The vertical clearance of the from field level will be 37 feet at the side walls and 65 ½ feet at its center (the peak).

The exterior roof will be a “standing seam metal roof” that will be painted metallic silver to match that of the exterior of the Paul W. Brechler Press Box.

The exterior walls of the facility will be made of pre-insulated metal panels painted to match the dark gray exterior of the press box at historic Kinnick Stadium.

The construction of the UI’s replacement for the decades-old “Bubble” – a permanent structure large enough to house a full-sized football field with ample “run-off” space on the sidelines and end lines – began late last fall and is expected to be completed by late summer/early fall of this year. The project is Phase I of a two-phase upgrade to the facilities used by the UI football program.

Watch the progress on the construction HERE.

Phase I includes construction of the indoor practice facility and also a reconfiguration of the practice fields inside the Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility. The location of the outdoor facility will not change; it will remain immediately north of the footprint for the new indoor practice facility and immediately west of Duane Banks Field, the home of the UI baseball team.

The Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility will, however, no longer include a FieldTurf practice field. Instead, all practice fields in that space will be grass. A FieldTurf surface will be installed inside the indoor facility and, as in the past, the UI football team will occasionally practice on the FieldTurf surface inside historic Kinnick Stadium.

The total length of the surface that will be underneath the roof of the indoor practice facility is 407 feet: A regulation football field plus 23 ½ feet behind each end zone. The total wide of the surface will be 214 feet.

When the Bubble comes down sometime late winter/early spring, the UI will take that space and create new parking space that will service the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics and the UI campus during on a daily basis, and fans of the Iowa football program on football game days.

Phase II of the project is highlighted by the construction of a new Iowa Football Operations Center. The Operations Center will guarantee an exceptional experience for the student-athletes who participate in Kirk Ferentz’s UI football program and ensure that the UI’s football program remains competitive in the Big Ten Conference and nationally for years to come.

The Operations Center will be adjacent to the south end of the new indoor practice facility and will rest immediately west of the UI Recreation Building on the north side of Evashevski Drive. The facility will be approximately 76,000 square feet on two levels and will include the following:

Legacy Hall: An exhibit space dedicated to the history and success of the football program at the UI for the enjoyment of former and current Hawkeyes and student-athletes who are being recruited to play for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

All-American Room: A space that honors Iowa’s consensus All-Americans that will also be used for hospitality, special events, and team-building activities. This will be a room in which current and to-be Hawkeyes aspire to be recognized within.

A state-of-the-art strength training area with a turf space for speed and agility workouts, team locker rooms, team meeting rooms, athletics training facilities, an equipment room, and coaches and staff offices and conference rooms all featuring cutting-edge technology to assist in training, coaching, and recruiting.

The current plan calls for construction of the Operations Center to begin in late 2012 immediately after completion of the new indoor practice facility. When Phase II is completed, the combination of the resources available in the Operations Center, the new indoor practice facility, the Kenyon Outdoor Practice Facility, and at historic Kinnick Stadium provide the student-athletes participating in the UI football program one of the most practical and comprehensive collection of training and competition venues available in college football today.

The total estimated cost of the two phases is $53 million. The UI Athletics Department has already received generous contributions from several friends of the UI and fans of the Hawkeyes and some funds for the project will be generated through annual revenue sources of the UI Athletics Department. An additional $15 million in private support will be required to complete the projects.

Individuals interested in supporting the University of Iowa and the Iowa Hawkeyes by helping the UI make enhancements and additions to the facilities used by the Iowa football program should contact either Mark Jennings or Andy Piro of the UI Athletics Department at (319) 335-8874, or Matt Henderson of the University of Iowa Foundation, Athletics Development, at (319) 467-3410 or (800) 648-6973.