UH to begin constructing $25 million basketball practice facility

The Houston Chronicle has announced that yet another Page project at the University of Houston is underway. Sports design firm DLR Group and Page, which also collaborated on nearby TDECU Stadium for the University of Houston, have now designed a $25 million basketball practice facility.

The 53,000-square foot, multi-level basketball development facility – to officially be named the Houston Basketball Development Facility – will serve as the headquarters for the men’s and women’s programs. It will be built adjacent to Hofheinz Pavilion, where the Cougars currently practice and play games, and the estimated completion date is August 2015.

The school released three renderings of the project Tuesday, which show a modern exterior that will keep the look of the facility in line with other nearby projects, including TDECU Stadium. A large glass entrance greets visitors on the Cullen Boulevard side.

The first level will include separate basketball courts for the men’s and women’s basketball teams – with the same specifications of those in games at Hofheinz – as well as sports performance and sports medicine areas that will be shared by both programs.

The second level will feature modern locker rooms, academic/film theaters and player lounge. The offices for coaching and support staff will be on the third level.

New UH men’s coach Kelvin Sampson said the facility is a must to remain competitive with other teams nationally and in the American Athletic Conference. Connecticut, Memphis, Cincinnati, SMU and South Florida are among the conference schools that have a dedicated basketball practice facility.

The building of the facility, Sampson added, will send a message to Houston area players who might not be considering staying at home.

“This gives them a reason to want to stay in Houston, because they know they can come here and have facilities as good as anybody in the country,” he said.

Just last week, UH hosted unofficial visits for 25 recruits on campus. Several noticed the fencing that had been put up around the east side of Hofheinz and a nearby construction trailer. One parent even remarked about the recent road improvements on Cullen Boulevard near Hofheinz and TDECU Stadium.

“We’re catching up,” Hughey said. “It’s going to be brand-new, state-of-the-art. Now we’re among the league’s best. You can come in and show a recruit, ‘This is your home.’”

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