The IU Board of Trustees approved the $53 million renovation of Memorial Stadium on Friday.
The project will enclose the south end zone to create a building to house the IU Excellence Academy.
“We are not a building in search of mission,” IU Athletic Director Fred Glass said to the board. “We are a program and mission in search of a building.”
The building is estimated to be completed in August 2018 and construction will begin after this year’s football season. The athletic department will completely fund the project from fundraising and other revenue streams.
The academy is going to be part of the “circle of excellence” located at Memorial Stadium that includes the Wilkinson Performance Center and the Shuel Academic Center.
“I think there’s no place in intercollegiate athletics where in one place on the athletics campus that we have access to those kinds of facilities to support our student-athletes,” Glass said.
There also will be stadium renovations related to improving the stadium seating and restroom and concession accessibility for people with disabilities. Also, the public address system will be upgraded.
The Hoosier Room will be moved to the Excellence Academy, allowing the locker room and the player’s lounge to be renovated. The focus of the project is the academy.
“The Excellence Academy, I think, is the most comprehensive and innovate student-athlete development program in the country,” Glass said. “Georgetown University identified IU’s Excellence Academy as the industry standard. The Excellence Academy really focuses on the development of the student-athlete comprehensively outside of academics and athletics.”
Inside the new building, there will be an Institute for Sports Science and Medicine. That will include the Center for Elite Athlete Development, which will apply research directly to the athletes.
“It will by like flying cars and ‘The Jetsons,’” Glass said. “There’s going to be crazy anti-gravity treadmills and we are partnering with the optometry school for visual acuity training.”
There also will be a rehabilitation and treatment center along with a wellness center where all of the trainers, doctors, psychologists and nutritionists will be in one place to support the student-athletes.
The Institute of Leadership and Life Skills will also be located inside the building.
On the second floor, there will be a state-of-the-art nutrition center for the student-athletes. On game day that area will transform into a hospitality seating area.
A new videoboard will be added in the south end zone and the north end zone. The new videoboard in the north will be added because the project will block some fans’ view of the south videoboard.
The project will not increase seating.
“This is not about increasing capacity,” Glass said. “Every part of this building is dedicated to serving students and making our student-athletes have a more collegiate student experience than they could otherwise have.”