“I don’t know how feasible it is, but I really like the idea,” Stansbury said. “I really like that idea. And so, as we get into it, if we were able to identify funding, that would definitely be a concept that we would want to look at.”
The Hugh Spruill Strength Center was last renovated in 2014. (Danny Karnik/Georgia Tech Athletics)
At about 10,000 square feet, Tech’s weight room is dwarfed by Clemson’s, which is 23,000 square feet. Virginia Tech is in the midst of its own expansion, from 6,900 square feet to more than 12,300 square feet. The N.C. State weight room is 15,000 square feet. Duke’s is 9,800.
The expansion could also provide visual pop that would be a positive in recruiting, just as a primary objective of the locker-room renovation was to win the notice of prospects. The current weight room does not have natural lighting and has a relatively low ceiling. (It’s on the ground floor of the Wardlaw Center.) Pushing out the space to the field could at least address the matter of natural lighting, a feature that many (though not all) of Tech’s competitors have in their weight rooms.
Removing parts or all of the south stands would reduce Grant Field’s capacity, which, given Tech’s challenges to fill the stadium, might not be the worst outcome.
The weight room was most recently renovated in 2014, with new flooring, lighting, air-conditioning system, graphics, artwork and audio-visual equipment installed, as well as a fueling station. It serves most of Tech’s 17 varsity teams. A handful use the weight room at the Zelnak Basketball Center. Many of Tech’s football competitors have weight rooms that are designated as football-only.
Besides a new weight room, Johnson has also identified a new academic center as another item on his wish list in Tech’s attempts to keep up in the sport’s facilities “arms race” designed to woo recruits.
A proposed idea for a weight-room renovation for Georgia Tech would remove part or all of the south stands of Bobby Dodd Stadium (beneath the video board) and replace it with an expanded weight room. SPECIAL/Daniel Varnado
A weight-room renovation is not part of the athletic department’s $125 capital campaign. Among the facilities projects in the campaign are a proposed $70 million renovation of the Edge Center, new locker rooms for the basketball teams and a new on-campus studio for the ACC Network. But, if a donor steps forward with a check for a new weight room, Stansbury would gladly fast-track it.
“There’s a saying,” Stansbury said. “It’s something along the lines of, ‘A funded project becomes a priority project.’”