With the worst weather day of the winter providing an appropriate backdrop, Clemson publicly dedicated its new indoor practice facility on Friday, marking the end of a 10-month construction project and a longer period of planning and approvals.
Now, with the state of the art facility as a starting point, new Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich says that university decision-makers need to act quickly to move future facility projects from the drawing board to reality.
"As you look at our student-athletes as we're standing here today, all the athletes at Clemson in five years won't be here," said Radakovich. "That's what I call a generation of student-athletes. What are we going to do for this generation to make sure we provide them with the best?
"As great as this facility is for football, we have to make sure we're taking care of the other very important sports that we have in our program. We don't need to be thinking about things a long time - we need to act on them. We just need to run a little faster and make sure we get things done."
The next big-ticket project on the facilities agenda is a basketball practice facility. Preliminary plans called for a new structure to be built into the hill between Littlejohn Coliseum and the parking lot (Lot 5) that serves both the basketball arena and the west end of the football stadium. Radakovich has indicated that those plans could be revised as part of a more comprehensive upgrade to basketball facilities.
Previously announced programs are ongoing, including facelifts for Riggs Field and Doug Kingsmore Stadium.
Radakovich said the new indoor football facility reflects the vision and dedication of former AD Terry Don Phillips, who was on hand Friday for the dedication.
"All the credit for this certainly goes to Terry Don and Robert (Ricketts) for their vision and taking Dabo's lead here and saying, 'This is a desire. This is a need here. How do we fill it?'" Radakovich said. "One of the ways that it was filled here is by the generous donations of the IPTAY members and the IPTAY Board specifically allocating the money. So, I get the opportunity to be here and see this open, but so many people did such great work here in order to get to this spot.
"This was something that was done before I got here...Now let's move forward and see what else we need to do. That's where my focus is."