Balfour Beatty has been awarded by Jacksonville University (JU) to construct its new Basketball Performance Center that will serve as the future home of the institution’s men’s and women’s basketball program and day-to-day operations. The new facility will provide a new home for student-athletes, enhance the university’s ability to recruit quality individuals and allow students to be better prepared academically and athletically.
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Photo renderings courtesy of Quinn Evans Architects.
The Basketball Performance Center at JU will be a two-story, 26,000-square-foot practice facility that will feature coaching staff offices, weight room, training room, and a full court and a half of playing surface which will serve as the new practice venue for athletic programming. The new building will also offer 24-hour gym access for coaches, a rare amenity in collegiate athletics, and a weight room directly off the practice floor for daily use to improve individual performance and injury prevention programs.
“This project has been a top priority for our University and athletics department for several years,” said Alex Ricker-Gilbert, athletic director at JU. “Facilities can set programs apart from their peers, and in the sports of men’s and women’s basketball, the landscape is increasingly competitive. The Basketball Performance Center will provide a new home for our student-athletes, enhance our ability to recruit quality individuals, and will allow them to be better prepared academically and athletically. This is a major component of a larger scale plan to chart our successful future in men’s and women’s basketball.”
Adjacent to Historic Swisher Gymnasium, the Basketball Performance Center will solve current logistical issues and create more functionality and connectivity between the court and the coaching offices. With two courts, the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball programs will find it easier to schedule practice time, and it will unlock new opportunities for summer youth programming.
“This basketball facility will have a significant impact on the way our program can operate beginning with the recruitment process and spanning our players’ entire time at Jacksonville University,” said Tony Jasick, JU men’s basketball head coach. “Having a space with unlimited access for their individual improvement is a significant piece in our continued growth. Jacksonville University has a storied tradition in men’s basketball, this commitment by the University will significantly help as we aim to add to that tradition moving forward.”
“A new centrally-located facility will impact our programs’ culture tremendously,” said Darnell Haney, JU women’s basketball head coach. “A one-stop shop where we can train, build team camaraderie, and attract top recruits will help us compete at a high level and carry out the mission of our program. It is our program’s goal to positively impact the lives of our student-athletes, the JU community, and the city of Jacksonville through winning basketball and quality education.”
Funding for Jacksonville University’s new $8 million performance center is a part of the college’s successful completion of its ASPIRE campaign, the school’s largest fundraising initiative to-date. In 2018, the college overachieved their fundraising goal by securing $121 million in donations to support the school’s strategic priorities, including advancing scholarships and academics, campus and student life enhancements, athletics and financial vitality.
“We are honored to be Jacksonville University’s construction partner in delivering a new fully functional performance center,” said Scott Skidelsky, Balfour Beatty president in Florida. “The new facility will give players, coaches and recruits a place to call home and boost morale for everyone connected to athletics at the university. As a new client for our team, we look forward to showcasing our expertise in the delivery of higher education construction projects in Florida and working with JU to achieve their goal in fostering a relationship-driven, student-athlete centered, culture of development for academic, athletic and social growth.”
Once complete, the new state-of-the-art practice facility will improve the collegiate experience, including returning the JU basketball program to a level more consistent with conference-play across the nation, and allowing recruiting opportunities beyond its current pool. Designed by Quinn Evans Architects, Balfour Beatty will leverage the latest technologies and lean construction methods to deliver JU’s Basketball Performance Center and is set to open before the start of the 2021-2022 season.
About Balfour Beatty
Balfour Beatty is an industry-leading provider of general contracting, at-risk construction management and design-build services for public and private sector clients across the United States. Performing heavy civil and vertical construction, the company is part of Balfour Beatty plc (LSE: BBY), a leading international infrastructure group that provides innovative and efficient infrastructure that underpins our daily lives, supports communities and enables economic growth. Balfour Beatty is ranked among the top domestic building contractors in the United States by Engineering News-Record. To learn more, visit www.balfourbeattyus.com.
About Jacksonville University
Named one of the Best Regional Universities in the South for more than 15 consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report, Jacksonville University is a premier private institution in northeast Florida. Founded in 1934, the University offers more than 100 majors, minors, and programs, including in-demand degrees in Nursing, Business, Biology and Marine Science, Engineering, Finance, as well as those in the more contemporary and specialized fields of Aviation, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Film, Animation, and Sports Business. Jacksonville University, with its four colleges, five schools and two institutes, is located in a beautiful riverfront setting in suburban Jacksonville, across the St. Johns River from downtown and just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. The 240-acre campus includes a half-mile of riverfront, oak-lined paths, and a mix of historic and new campus buildings.
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