ATHENS — For all the progress Georgia football made on the field the final two months of the 2020 season, the off-field gains were just as impressive.
The Bulldogs’ No. 3-ranked signing class got most of the off-field buzz in December, Kirby Smart piling up a school-record 16 early enrollees in the process.
But off the field, in the backdrop of those Peach Bowl practices behind Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall, Georgia’s monstrous $80 million football building was taking shape.
The gains to the 165,000-square foot facilities, seemingly incremental since construction began last January, suddenly gave way to a building appearance with personality.
Coach Kirby Smart has wisely been using the state-of-the-art facility as a selling point, going so far as to step out of character and display a light-hearted moment for a video with assistant coaches Glenn Schumann, Dan Lanning and Scott Cochran.
Amazingly, Georgia was able to keep the construction project on pace despite a global pandemic the dealt crippling blows to athletic departments across the country.
The entire project, which includes a “Phase Two” of connecting the new structure to the existing football facilities, is expected to be completed before January of 2022.
Smart’s program has been playing catch-up when it comes to football facilities since he assumed control of the program before the 2016 season.
Georgia has worked to get up to the same level as SEC rivals Alabama and LSU, along with nearby ACC powerhouse Clemson, spending more than $170 million on facility upgrades and additions since 2016.
Georgia ranked No. 8 in the SEC in football facilities, per 247Sports ratings.
The gains made in just five months can be witnessed by viewing the video the film crew released back in August.