• Give Light projects: Football operations center

    Last fall, Baylor announced the launch of “Give Light” — a $1.1 billion fundraising campaign to support the university’s academic strategic plan, Illuminate. Among the campaign’s priority capital projects is the construction of a football operations center that would both serve as a new home for Baylor football and free up additional space to support student-athletes in the current Simpson Center.

    The new football operations center will be built along the Brazos River, adjacent to the Allison Indoor Practice Facility, and will include a variety of resources for the football program. Those include coaches’ offices, meeting rooms, weight rooms, rehab and sports nutrition support, and more. (You can see renderings of the project in the video below.)

    Those spaces currently occupy roughly half of the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center on University Parks Drive. Moving those areas to a new facility would free up significant space in the Simpson Center to better support student-athletes of all sports. Baylor’s Student-Athlete Center for Excellence is one of the key parts of Baylor Athletics’ effort in “preparing champions for life,” offering assistance with everything from career and leadership development to academic advising and counseling to community involvement and spiritual growth.

    “We’re trying to align resources with our vision,” says Baylor Vice President and Director of Athletics Mack Rhoades. “If we want to really have a vision to compete for conference and national championships, our resources need to match that vision and give all our coaches that opportunity.

    “Years ago, the decision was made to bring football onto campus, to build a beautiful stadium, one of the nicest in the country. But while we were doing that, other schools were upgrading their day-to-day accommodations and resources for their student-athletes. We need to have these types of resources if we really think we can and we want to compete at the highest levels.

    “And if we’re able to move football out of the Simpson Center, then we can turn that into elite space for all of our student-athletes, by having this Student-Athlete Center for Excellence where we’re able to provide some of the best academic services in the entire country. To be able to say to prospective student-athletes and their parents, ‘Hey, look at these resources that we have, not just the athletics pieces, but the academics piece, the character formation piece, leadership, life skills, all of these things’ — that’s a huge win for all of us.”

    The next step, naturally, is fundraising. Once fundraising brings in the estimated $55 million needed, work on the new facility can begin in earnest, followed by the renovation of the Simpson Center.

    Want to help make this project a reality? Contact the Office of Advancement at 1-800-229-5678, option 4, to discuss opportunities to support construction.

    Sic ’em, Bears!

    You might also like:
    * Give Light projects: An expanded Memorial & Alexander for the Honors Residential College (April 2019)
    Give Light projects: New basketball fieldhouse (March 2019)
    Give Light projects: Tidwell Bible Building renovation (March 2019)

    Give Light projects: Hurds’ lead gift paves the way for new Baylor welcome center along I-35 (Nov. 2018)
    Baylor launches ‘Give Light,’ a $1.1 billion fundraising effort to support BU students & programs (Nov. 2018)

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