Rutgers “goes ahead” with design plans for a new football facility, says Greg Schiano


INDIANAPOLIS – Greg Schiano is notoriously impatient. The Rutgers coach knows this better than anyone, and so his recent stance on the school’s efforts to improve its football facilities may come as a surprise.

“We’re not going to rush it,” Schiano told NJ Advance Media on Friday as he pushed for a schedule for a new soccer practice facility.

“I was accused of rushing a few projects in my first stint, and even so you don’t always get the best product. So we’ll make sure we get it right, ”added Schiano. “Because I think this will be a 50 year old building. There will be many teams to use this (facility) long after I leave this planet. ”

It’s been 17 months since Rutgers announced a contract with AECOM, a Los Angeles-based company known for its sports facility designs, to create a facility master plan that is expected to include concept designs for a new soccer practice facility and renovations of the Rutgers Athletic will include Center.

“I feel really good where we are in terms of facilities,” said Schiano. “We’ll continue with everything we said at the beginning. The design, the implementation of our fundraising – all of this is moving forward. The most important thing for me is that I have to keep my focus. My job is to coach this team, make sure that they get their education and that we get better as a football program. If I’m not careful, I’ll become a builder, project manager. I won’t do that this time. ”

During their November 2019 negotiations with Schiano, Rutgers officials estimated the cost of a new soccer facility at $ 150 million and said half of that would have to be raised privately through fundraising before the state university came up with a loan plan that would be greener. illuminate the project.

Schiano confirmed on Friday that the plan is to build a facility near the current football headquarters next to the SHI Stadium that would include a changing room, strength and conditioning facility, meeting rooms, offices and an indoor training field.

“We’re chopping it off, but I won’t make an appointment because I don’t have to,” said Schiano. “I have the feeling that we have a really good system that we have improved. But it’s not relative to our Big Ten competition. We have a few things to do. We’re going to do it, and we’re going to get it right. ”

Schiano said he doesn’t think school officials are “too far away” to reveal what a new football headquarters would look like, adding, “there’s a good chance” that renders could be revealed this fall. While praising Athletics Director Pat Hobbs, Chief of Staff Kevin MacConnell, and Associate AD for Football Will Gilkison for their work to date, Schiano said University President Jonathan Holloway and the school’s board of directors must sign off the initial stages of the project.

“I’m really pleased with the way we’re doing this,” he said. “I’m a little more patient with what it takes. It won’t be easy to get supplies or people to do it. Building something takes longer due to the events (during the COVID pandemic).

“We have made the necessary improvements to the Hale Center or are still doing them because we will be there. If we started building this thing tomorrow, we wouldn’t be there for two years. But design is moving forward (and) fundraising is moving forward. And we have to win a lot of games before we even set foot in this building. If we do (build) that, it will allow us to maintain what we have learned. ”

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Keith Sargeant can be contacted at [email protected]. Tell us your coronavirus story or send us a tip here.


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