Georgia football building update: Concrete and steel, Phase One on track
ATHENS — “On schedule” was the operative phrase during the Georgia Athletic Association Board of Director’s meeting.
UGA senior deputy athletic director Josh Brooks updated the progress on the Bulldogs’ game-changing $80 million football building that’s underway behind Butts-Mehre Hertiage Hall.
“We started this progress in early January this year, and through everything we’ve been through, the rainy season, the COVID (pandemic), we have been able to stay on schedule and on budget,” Brooks said.
Phase One, construction of the three-story, 160,000-square foot building, is due to be complete next spring.
“Phase One, we began this work in January,” Brooks said. “Concrete foundations were completed April 14. We had our first concrete slab pour this past weekend, that will be the second floor of the weight room area.
“We’ll complete all slab pours by late August; we’ve already started installing the structural steel, that began April 27.”
Brooks said more than 21,000 cubic yards of dirt were removed to level the first floor of the building at the same elevation as the practice fields.
Additionally, more than 700,000 pounds of steel have been erected.
“We planned to be topped out on all structural steel in early July, and then late July, we’ll begin with the exterior skin,” Brooks said.
“We’re still on scheduled for Phase One spring of ’21, and then we would immediately go into Phase Two which is set to finish the following year.”
UGA athletic director Greg McGarity, whose contract was extended another year at Thursday’s meeting, said Phase Two will be complete in January of 2022.
Phase Two links the new facility with the existing indoor football facility at Georgia.
“It has been fun watching the building develop,” McGarity told DawgNation. “We’re very pleased with DPR (construction) and HOK (architect) teams.
“Their teamwork has been exceptional and things are happening very quickly.”
The Bulldogs have been playing catch-up in the football facilities game since Kirby Smart was hired before the 2016 season.
McGarity has pointed out the importance of the Magill Society in helping to fund Georgia football facilities, enabling the school to maintain what has proven to be a pivotal amount in reserve funds.
“One of the exciting aspects of our job is being able to enhance our facilities,” McGarity has said. “And with the tremendous donor support we receive at the University of Georgia, we’ve been able to move at a very rapid pace.”
While some schools’ plans and projects have been brought to a halt of canceled altogether, UGA has moved forward and stayed on schedule, at that.
Georgia most recently ranked No. 8 in the SEC in football facilities, per 247Sports ratings.
Clemson, one of the Bulldogs’ chief recruiting rivals and 2021 season-opening opponent, raced ahead of UGA and many SEC schools with its $55 million, 142,000 square-foot building in 2017.
Nebraska, meanwhile, has had plans for a $155 million 350,000 square foot football facility adjacent to Memorial Stadium.
Smart, a former Georgia All-SEC safety, has led the Bulldogs to three straight SEC East Division crowns and an appearance in the 2017 College Football Playoff Championship Game.
Georgia fans and donors have responded with support that has enabled the Bulldogs to build a $30.2 million indoor facility and complete a $63 million renovation at the West End one of Sanford Stadium since Smart was hired.