Georgia State building practice space for basketball

On the heels of an appearance in the NCAA tournament, Georgia State plans to complete a $1.5 million practice space for its basketball teams and volleyball teams by the start of their seasons in the fall. The practice area would be constructed within space in the Aquatics Center, next to the GSU Sports Arena.

The plan started in the fall but the men’s basketball team’s run to the third round of the NCAA tournament under coach Ron Hunter sped up the process.

“This is one investment we can quickly make to show a commitment to helping our basketball programs improve and improve the welfare of the student-athletes,” athletic director Charlie Cobb said.

He said the money will come from a combination of revenue streams, including the university, gifts and a reallocation of existing funds.

The men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the volleyball team, share practice time at the GSU Sports Arena. Trying to fit the three teams into the arena has been problematic.

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Cobb said the first issue that must be solved is repairing or replacing the HVAC in the space, which hasn’t been used in years.

Once that is complete, lights, a court and goals will be purchased and installed. Cobb said it should be finished within the next six months.

“We feel pretty good about the fact that we can get it done quickly,” Cobb said.

Cobb said this would be the first phase in renovating the Aquatics center. There was a $8-9 million plan to turn the space in a sports performance center. Cobb said the funding wasn’t there yet for that, but building the practice space can be done.

“Let’s see where the momentum takes us,” Cobb said.

Cobb said starting this project won’t interfere with the ongoing plan to build a strength and conditioning facility for football at its practice complex on MLK Dr. SE. The contract with a builder for the facility is being reviewed. The goal is to have space constructed by the start of football practice in August.

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