David Williams sat down with Commodore Nation in April to discuss the recently announced Multipurpose Facility that will be part of the Student Recreation Center....
Commodore Nation: What is the expected date of completion? David Williams: Our belief is that it will take 10-12 months to complete once a shovel goes in the ground. Based on the fact that we need to raise another $4 million to $6 million, it is prudent to suggest completion by the summer of 2014. If we are fortunate enough to raise this money and take care of key details on a quicker schedule, we would welcome an earlier completion date.
CN: What is the estimated cost of the project, and how is the
funding going? DW: The cost will be in the $30 million area. The university will provide approximately 50 percent of this by allowing debt, while the remainder must come from philanthropy. At this point we've raised through cash and pledges about $11 million.
CN: This is a multipurpose facility; about how much time would you expect varsity athletics will occupy the space? DW: Between the primary uses of football, soccer, lacrosse, bowling, track and cross country and the occasional use by other varsity programs, I estimate varsity athletics will occupy about 25 percent of the total time. The majority of time will be used by club and recreational sports, Health Plus, faculty and staff and occasional use by other college or high school teams or events.
CN: From a recreational perspective, what are some new features that will become available? DW: There will be expanded weight rooms, more multi-purpose/exercise rooms, new squash courts, increased capability for basketball, volleyball and badminton. There will be more exercise machines in more locations. There will be availability for Health Plus assessment and even a demonstration kitchen, where nutrition can not only be discussed but demonstrated through special classes.
CN: What are other advantages to this facility? DW: It is fair to say there are advantages that might not immediately resonate. For instance, our bowling team will no longer have to spend 60 minutes per day driving to its practice site. We will have the capability to host major indoor track and field championships on the collegiate or even high school levels. The city of Nashville lacks indoor training facilities for track and field, so I can envision this facility enhancing the sport in our area. Bringing in hundreds of high school athletes is good for Vanderbilt, good for the community and opens up revenue streams. This facility will eventually be used for good things that we cannot even imagine now.