UGA athletics board to consider football complex expansion

Field level view of a "Power G" branded end-zone pylon at Sanford Stadium.

Credit: Brett Szczepanski

Credit: Brett Szczepanski

Field level view of a "Power G" branded end-zone pylon at Sanford Stadium.

Georgia Athletic Association board members will be briefed Wednesday on the progress of efforts to add a new football-dedicated building to the Butts-Mehre Athletic Complex when it holds its annual winter meeting.

In a conference call with members of the board’s facilities and development committee Monday morning, Athletic Director Greg McGarity confirmed that a status report will be provided on the latest multi-million dollar project to come on line since Kirby Smart became the Bulldogs’ head coach in 2016. McGarity said Georgia is in the process of selecting engineers and architects for the project — a building in the space between the Spec Town Track & Field grandstands and the Payne Indoor Athletic Facility.

Fund-raising for the expected $50 million project cost is already under way.

Since Smart’s arrival on campus in January of 2016, Georgia has built and dedicated a $30 million indoor practice facility and $65 million locker room and recruiting area underneath the West grandstand at Sanford Stadium. Since fall 2015, members of Georgia’s relatively new Magill Society have pledged donations totaling nearly $100 million to cover the cost of those projects.

Board members also will be briefed on an upcoming project to improve the lighting at Sanford Stadium, McGarity said.

The majority of facilities updates Wednesday will be on construction of a new grandstand for the Henry Field Stadium courts at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex, McGarity said. Cost for that project is now expected to exceed $8 million. The board also will be briefed on plans to add a new six-court indoor tennis facility for the complex.

“That will be the only action item on Wednesday,” McGarity said.

To date, none of the monies raised from the Magill Society have gone toward tennis. That is the sport Magill oversaw for decades before his death in 2014 at the age of 93.

Also Wednesday, the board will be briefed on an ongoing $3.1 million equestrian project that will include a 7,000-square foot clubhouse at the team’s facility in Bishop.