Finally, we have a ray of light in the darkness that is Purdue football. This morning, according to Mike Carmin of the Lafayette Journal & Courier, Purdue and President Mitch Daniels announced a $60 million upgrade to the football training facilities, solving at least one of the myriad of problems facing the program right now. The bulk of what is known can be found on Carmin's Twitter stream, but this calls for substantial and extensive upgrades to the weights facilities, sports performance, locker room, Mollenkopf, and more.
Here is video of outsiders viewing the current facilities:
From the renderings supplied it looks as if the facility will be located on the north end of the Mollenkopf practice facility and will have an entrance out onto the Bimel practice field complex. President Daniels even called this "a necessary step", so you KNOW it had to be done!
An important note according to the photos posted by Carmin: The construction of the "Performance complex", as it is called will be a priority before the south end zone and Ross-Ade renovations. I find this very interesting, as at one time it was talked about having many of the football offices and new locker room in the planned South End Zone structure. I suppose a locker room or even a visiting team locker room could still be part of that, but it also seems likely that any South End Zone plans are a few years away. That means the tent and Morgantown will stay!
According to the released photos from Carmin the project will be financed by private donations as well as that sweet, sweet river of BTN money coming in. No tuition or state dollars will be used. If the plan is approved they are expected to break ground in May 2016 with a completion date of August 2017. This likely means at least two more years of Morgantown.
UPDATE: We have some more details from the official story published by Carmin:
The existing training areas offer inadequate space and few effective recruiting tools. The Mollenkopf Athletic Center was built in 1989 and has limited instructional and support space, including the weight room, coaches offices, meeting rooms and locker room space.
While Hazell has lost 26 of 31 games and the team hasn’t shown enough progress to please the fan base, Daniels said the facilities aren’t helping.
"I’m convinced this is a necessary step," Daniels said. "There are other times for evaluation and personnel and so forth, but if we don’t have this kind of infrastructure in place, I don’t think Knute Rockne goes undefeated here."
Among the highlights:
• About 110,000 square feet will be added to the north side of the existing facility.
• A three-story complex will combine locker rooms, state-of-the-art workout equipment, coaching offices, film rooms, a player’s lounge with study space and team meeting rooms. The facility will sit between Ross-Ade Stadium and the outdoor and indoor practice fields.