UGA planning major structural changes to Sanford Stadium

Sanford Stadium

ATHENS – The University of Georgia is planning a major, and expensive, structural change to Sanford Stadium, which will be presented at a meeting Tuesday of the athletic board.

The project is expected to include moving the locker rooms to the west side of the stadium, and adding a recruiting room next to the locker rooms. UGA athletics director Greg McGarity will make a funding request to the board about the project, according to an agenda of the meeting, which begins Tuesday afternoon.

The cost of the project is unknown. This will be the biggest facilities project at UGA since the building of the indoor athletic facility – which will be dedicated after Tuesday’s board meeting. UGA president Jere Morehead, McGarity and head football coach Kirby Smart are expected to attend the ceremony.

The indoor facility, which had a budget of $30.2 million, was getting the finishing touches as of last week. It was already used by the football team for several late bowl practices in December.

As for the west end zone project, there are plans and documents, which are scheduled to be presented at Tuesday’s meeting of the UGA athletic board, and may already have been viewed this past week at a meeting of the finance committee.

The construction project includes the recruiting room, long sought by Georgia coaches, first Mark Richt and now Kirby Smart. Smart has mentioned that the current locker rooms, located on the east end of the stadium, are the same ones he dressed in as a player in the late 1990s.

The recruiting room would then be adjacent to the new locker rooms, which would make it more convenient for coaches. The project would also include improvements to public restrooms and other facilities close to the west end zone area.

At last September’s meeting, the board approved a request for just over $1 million for a design study for the west end zone project. The results of the design study are expected to provide the basis for the next phase of the project, which is building it.

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