By Mark Janssen
MANHATTAN, Kan. - The next step to the K-State Basketball Training Facility becomes a reality Saturday morning at 9 with a groundbreaking ceremony on the $17 million structure that is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012.
Of the facility to be located on the east side of Bramlage Coliseum, K-State athletics director John Currie said, "This facility will make a statement that we're going to be a high-level competitive basketball program, and not an afterthought. It makes a statement to prospective student-athletes that we are making a commitment to our men's and women's basketball teams, and it makes a statement to our coaches."
The ceremony on the east lawn of Bramlage Coliseum is open to the public and will feature President Kirk Schulz, Currie, basketball coaches Frank Martin and Deb Patterson, and project contributors Rand and Patti Berney and Jim and Laura Johnson.
Currie said it was in his first few weeks at K-State in the summer of 2009 that he met with the architects and then asked the Wildcat coaches one simple question: "What are your needs in this facility? They said we need courts and baskets, so we built off of that. We wanted a facility that would meet our needs, but not be wasteful."
The 50,000 square foot facility will include a practice court, coaching offices and locker rooms for both men's and women's basketball, plus a weight room, training room, film room, hydrotherapy area and laundry facilities to be shared by both programs.
"Our basketball programs have a proud heritage of success and this project allows us to continue to improve our infrastructure and ensure that we enhance our national position in the future and provide a world-class student-athlete experience," said Currie. "We cannot express enough our appreciation to Wildcat fans and supporters nationwide for their participation and support of this critical project."
Pledges for the Basketball Training Facility are approaching the $14.5 million mark. Wildcat fans who wish to contribute may still make specific gifts for the project by visiting k-statesports.com/trainingfacility.
MW Builders of Temple, Texas, will do the construction of the design created by Populous of Kansas City, Mo.
K-State Women Go "Pink"
Kansas State women's basketball will take part in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's (WBCA) "Pink Zone" during Saturday's 7 p.m., game with Iowa State in Bramlage Coliseum.
In addition, prior to the game K-State will hold a ceremony recognizing the Wildcats' 800th victory scored last week against Nebraska.