UTSA breaks ground on facility to elevate athletics, provide public space

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SAN ANTONIO, TX–The University of Texas at San Antonio broke ground on a state-of-the-art, $41.5 million athletic training facility that will help the university draw world-class student-athletes to its Division I programs and provide recreational sports resources to San Antonio residents.

The Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence (RACE) will be located on 10.8 acres near the southwest corner of UTSA’s Main Campus. The nearly 95,000-square-foot facility will include practice fields, locker rooms, a sports medicine center, and strength and conditioning facilities. It will also offer academic study spaces, staff and coaches offices, and meeting rooms.

“The Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence will be the hub of UTSA Athletics and provide all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff with the resources to achieve our mission of developing champions in the classroom, in competition and in life,” said UTSA Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Lisa Campos. “Just as UTSA intends to be an exemplar in academics and research, RACE will have a long-lasting impact on our stature as a Division I competitor.”

The RACE facility will make UTSA more competitive in recruiting and retaining the nation’s best student-athletes and coaches, who are often attracted to universities by the caliber of their training and practice facilities. RACE is the first phase of a multitiered project at the university’s Main and Park West campuses. Details on additional phases will be announced in the near future.

As part of its commitment as an urban serving, community engaged university, UTSA will make RACE facilities available for public use, including for athletics camps and clinics.

“UTSA has long been a great partner with San Antonio Sports and the City of San Antonio, and we’re excited to see the development of the Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence. Not only will it take UTSA Athletics to the next level and help student-athletes reach their full potential, it will provide another top-notch facility to help enrich our community’s recreational resources,” said Russ Bookbinder, president and chief executive officer of San Antonio Sports.

“As my good friend Red McCombs has said, UTSA athletics is the front porch of the university. This is an important day for UTSA as we continue to bring our Division I athletics programs to all of San Antonio,” said UTSA President Taylor Eighmy. “I am excited about how we will be able to truly compete in Texas at the FBS level and in Conference USA.”

Funding for RACE construction will come from philanthropic efforts and community partnerships. UTSA has entered into a ground lease with the Roadrunner Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit organization, which will secure financing for the project. In return, UTSA Athletics will pay $1 million annually for up to 25 years to the foundation. The payment is built into the base budget of UTSA Athletics and the intention is to pay it off early through continued fundraising. Upon completion of the financing terms, the foundation will donate the RACE facility to the university.

UTSA Athletics has also received commitments of $13.1 million through private donations. Of that, $10 million was raised in the last year, reflecting growing momentum for the university’s athletics programs and an ability to raise additional funding for RACE and the next phases of the project. Additionally, $10 million is available from the 2017 City of San Antonio bond referendum in support of parks, recreation and open space.

“As a partner of UTSA Athletics, the Roadrunner Foundation is excited for this project to become a reality and we are pleased to have brought innovative approaches to the investment in its construction,” said Gene Dawson, Roadrunner Foundation president. “The Roadrunner Athletics Center of Excellence will give the university a tremendous asset to recruit the very best student-athletes, coaches and staff.”

When completed, the Roadrunner Athletics Center for Excellence will feature:

Academic spaces: Nearly 7,000 square feet of academic space, including a 1,000-square-foot study hall, 10 private tutoring rooms, computer lab, classroom and office space for UTSA Athletics Academic Services staff.

Sports medicine center: A sports medicine center with treatment areas, an exam room, a recovery room and office space for athletic trainers and physicians. It also will include an enclosed hydrotherapy room and aquatic therapy equipment for rehabilitation.

Strength and conditioning center: 14,000 square feet of strength and conditioning spaces, including a weight room available to all UTSA student-athletes, with state-of-the-art equipment, a cardio area, a nutrition station and office spaces. The space will offer direct access to the practice fields.

Practice fields: Two parallel football practice fields: one synthetic turf field and one field with natural grass.

Locker room: A 7,500-square-foot locker room will include 120 lockers and a player lounge for the football program.

Meeting rooms: Multiple rooms located in the center of the facility to accommodate full team gatherings as well as specialized meeting spaces.

Upcoming phases of the project will include the addition of a covered pavilion over the synthetic turf practice field and the construction of a facility at the university’s Park West Campus. Through its athletics capital campaign, the Roadrunner Foundation and UTSA Athletics have a goal to raise $11 million for those phases.

Architects for the RACE facility are Populous and MarmonMok. The Roadrunner Foundation has engaged Joeris Construction as the construction firm, and Project Control will serve as the project manager. Construction is expected to last approximately 14 months with move-in slated for summer 2021.