Monday, July 11, 2011

Finding space for the Indoor Practice Facility

BC's Strength & Conditioning Center renovations were a nice move. In the recruiting arms race it is always important to have the latest, greatest, biggest and best. So on the S&C front we are keeping up with the Joneses. The lingering issue remains the permanent indoor practice facility. It is a huge, needed project that is never mentioned by BC. I think the costs, political capital and the lack of space are all issues. But it will have to be done within the next ten years and probably should be done within the next five. I don't think donors would be an issue. BC always manages to rally support for important initiatives. I think the space and political issues are intertwined.


The minute BC announces a project in Newton or Brighton, it gets tied up with town-gown redtape. Although I don't think it would be as disruptive as a dorm, the idea of a "Football Practice Facility" would be the ultimate "not in my backyard" project for our neighbors. To avoid problems, my suggestion is to keep it simple and close to the current football facilities. In my master plan, the Beacon St. Garages are expanded and the practice facility is placed on the top level. As you can see from the image, this would encroach on Shea and the current baseball fields. In this plan the new baseball complex on Brighton would have to open first.


Obviously my end goal is the facility, but the added benefit of this plan is that it expands the number of parking spots. Let me know your thoughts. Where would you put the indoor practice facility? It is bound to be a political hot potato, but it doesn't have to be. BC could do it, with some smart planning and good uses of space.

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17 Comments:

At 11:14 AM, Blogger crd2114 said...

It'd make sense to put it there but the Master Plan has a bunch of dorms on that site. Slim chance of that changing, considering it went through 3-4 years of red tape with Boston before finally being approved. The only space for it would be on the Brighton Campus next to the new baseball stadium

 
At 11:39 AM, Blogger ATL_eagle said...

I don't think the dorms are connected to Alumni/Beacon St Garage, so there might be enough space for both, but I could be wrong. My next suggestion would be to put it atop Conte...and yes, I am serious about that.

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Adam said...

One thing to note - a major fresh water supply pipe for Boston runs through that area, which is the main reason why that forested area remains untouched and fenced off.

 
At 12:06 PM, Blogger Erik said...

As nice as it would be, I think it falls low on the University's priorities list and that they stick with the bubble.

They do need to knock down the plex and build a multi-floor facility with student fitness areas, new competition indoor track, new pool, etc. If they went with a flat track, which isn't ideal for any single activity especially track, you could use that for some indoor non-cleat and non-contact football practice and drills. On an embanked track there is still some area for some running, plyometrics (however that is spelled), and passing. I've seen Harvard players doing drills in their track area.

 
At 1:24 PM, Blogger mod10aeagle said...

Expansion of the parking garage may be a bigger issue with the neighbors than building an indoor practice facility. More parking spaces on campus means more cars on Beacon St. and Comm Ave. An indoor facility to accomodate existing campus "residents" would have no impact on the neighborhood once construction was completed. That said, I suspect the neighbors would try to take advantage of every proposed campus project to gain concessions, regardless of the actual impact, but what they really fear is more traffic and noise.

 
At 1:51 PM, Blogger eagleboston said...

I like the idea of tearing down the Plex (let's be honest, it's well past time to tear that eyesore down), building a new Plex and putting the indoor facility on the roof.

Less than 60 days until kickoff!

 
At 3:48 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

When I first watched that video, my thought was "wait... why do we need to renovate in Yawkley? Isn't the whole thing almost brand-new?" Then I looked it up and it's already six years old. Man, the time does fly!

Alright, why are we fixated on putting the indoor practice facility on the roof of some other building? Is there a successful precendent for doing this? You need a pretty high roof on a football facility, to allow for kicks and long passes. Doesn't strike me as something that would be easy to "tack on" to the roof of an existing structure.

Atl Eagle, I see where you're coming from on the recruiting aspect of this. I'm just not sure it's a big issue for me. We have the bubble in Alumni in the winter... Besides, don't you think practicing in foul weather helps us prepare to play in foul weather?

If BC announced a project like this, I would support it... just not holding my breath.

 
At 4:57 PM, Blogger Andrew said...

Why not put it directly on top of the current practice field? If you look at the map of the master plan there are no dorms proposed on this site. They wouldn't have to move any of the proposed dorms and there is more open space around there.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger jay said...

Jeff, your comments - "I see where you're coming from on the recruiting aspect of this. I'm just not sure it's a big issue for me." - are contradictory. The whole concept of the practice facility being an asset in recruiting, which you acknowledge, is that the issue doesn't matter for you, me, ATL, or any other alum...it matters to talented high school football players.

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger chicagofire1871 said...

Put it on the site of the current football practice field. If BC wants to be outdoors for some reason, then practice in Alumni. BAM!

(Alternate, much cooler solution): Put an open/close roof on Alumni and use use that field to practice on during the winter/inclement weather and then open it up for the nice weather. The bubble costs BC around $3 mil. a year, so finding a solution to this is well worth the money we're throwing away at the moment.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger D-Murph said...

Baseball and softball fields will be replaced with dorms in the ten-year plan.

I don't think that the current outdoor football practice field is a big enough space to have an indoor facility, especially with the Beacon St Garage expansion. If you are building an indoor facility, you need to go all out and make it big enough.

Best place in my opinion would be somewhere on the Brighton Campus where BC plans on putting an intramural field in 15 years.

Finally, I'm pretty sure that the Master Plan calls for a new Plex to be built where Edmonds currently is.

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Erik said...

While on the topic of doing stuff, I wonder how much it would cost to put another layer of nicer, golden color bricks over the awful exteriors of Edmonds and Walsh. It would look 10x nicer if they vaguely matched all the other dorms in that section of campus.

 
At 9:45 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

@Jay: Yeah, I know it's for the recruits, not for fans. I guess I just mean that I'm not rooting for it to happen as hard as atleagle seems to be. Maybe I should be...

On the other hand, I feel like there's this perception that we have trouble competing in recruiting. While we might not land many "4-stars", we certainly seem to turn up a lot of good football players.

I'm more concerned that we're not fully utilizing our player talent (not to mention fanbase potential) on Saturdays. I miss Jagz, and the excitement of his tenure.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger J said...

Have they considered going below grade level for some of this stuff? Everyone knows about the lack of available land, and I believe height restrictions are an issue too. How cool would an underground practice facility be? An underground parking garage below one of the other planned buildings would be more commonplace and maybe cheaper, albeit less catchy. BC’s own Big Dig. The dirt they remove could be piled up on the Brighton campus for the ski team. Or a sledding hill. Or they could fill in part of the reservoir and buy that land – there was chatter about that back in the late 90’s when I was there.

 
At 11:27 AM, Blogger mod34b said...

Erik - I believe the plan is to tear down Edmunds -- at least that was the plan 2 years ago. See this article

Has that plan changed? Is that what you are suggesting?

 
At 11:11 PM, Blogger Joe Bags said...

Build the dome!

 
At 12:30 AM, Blogger luch said...

following on the suggestion to build down- Princeton's Jadwin Gym would be a good example...the top level (highest roof) could be an indoor football facility and/or track...obv sports like soccer, wmns lacrosse, baseball, etc could use this indoor facility in inclement weather (non football time). time to think of what would be displaced by tearing down the Plex...below that could be a student gym...lowest level could be a 6 court indoor tennis facility that meets ACC/NCAA minimum standards. all thats left is the pool, that could be below tennis courts.
logistically it might make sense to have the student gym somewhere in middle campus to be sort of a midway point between upper/lower campus. and have the pool there. plus it would limit the traffic (wear and tear) in the new building. And it would keep the athletes area mainly athletes so they could go about their business.
you could even have a tunnel that goes underground from Conte/Alumni/football building to the "new" Plex. We always wanted one, running across the parking lot from the plex to the training room or vice versa in the winter was brutal.

 

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