Radakovich says Littlejohn Coliseum 'rebuild' will be a different building

If the process unfolds the way AD expects, Clemson basketball would play in new facility for 2016-17 season

Pre-concept drawing of Littlejohn Coliseum 'rebuild.' (Clemson University photo)

Pre-concept drawing of Littlejohn Coliseum 'rebuild.' (Clemson University photo)

Forget everything you know about Clemson's Littlejohn Coliseum.

If things go according to plan, athletic director Dan Radakovich said fans will be able to stand at center court, survey the surroundings, and think they're in a different building.

That's how radical Clemson's "rebuild" will be - a term Radakovich adopted to convey that project's scope encompasses much more than a "remodel or renovation."

Speaking about the full array of Clemson's facility plans, which were approved at various stages by the board of trustees last week, Radakovich said Clemson will create an Athletic Facility Trust Fund as a vehicle to "park money away" as funds are raised.

Cost for the Littlejohn Coliseum is expected to be from $60-80 million, with another $30 projected as the cost of the new football operations center, which will be build adjacent to football's indoor practice facility.

Radakovich talks new Clemson facilities

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While Clemson will take on debt during the construction of the various projects, Radakovich said that the state of South Carolina limits Clemson's debt to $200 million, and that it currently has just $25 million in debt.

If the process unfolds the way Radakovich expects, Clemson would first play in the new Littlejohn during the 2016-17 basketball season. The men's and women's teams will be displaced during the 2015-16 season - probably to Greenville, though those plans have not been finalized. Clemson's contingency plans will be subject to ACC input.

Impact Projects: In addition to the major projects that received board approval earlier this month, Radakovich said Clemson is moving ahead with various smaller 'impact projects.' They include the remodeling of the WestZone's recruiting area and locker rooms, the rebuilding of 'Field 5' in the football practice area, the expansion of the golf practice facility, and the addition of graphics in football's indoor practice facility.

What's Next: Radakovich said that while the consolidation of all Clemson's football operations in one area is "non-urgent," the plans for a new facility integrated with the Tigers' indoor and outdoor practice areas is a matter of "seeing what's next...We felt like this was the next step we needed to take."

Museum May Be 'End Domino': The scaled-back completion of the WestZone that received final approval from the board dropped the proposed athletic heritage museum from the project. Radakovich said that the museum might eventually come to fruition, housed in the McFadden Building.

Once football operations are moved to their new facility, administrative and other coaches' offices will move to the space that football currently occupies in the WestZone. That could open up the McFadden Building for a different use.

"The location would be ideal, between our football, baseball and basketball facilities," Radakovich said.

Getting Connected: Radakovich says providing highly-functional wireless connectivity will be a top priority in the new Littlejohn. "In a lot of older facilities, that's a real challenge," Radakovich said. "Fan comfort and fan experience are high priorities. We want to enhance our wireless capabilities to help enhance the experience of fans and students."

Worth Noting: The WestZone project includes an elevated pedestrian bridge linking the north and south stands at Memorial Stadium...The exterior of Littlejohn Coliseum will get significant facelift, including the incorporation of transparent areas and contemporary lighting...Basketball coaches' offices, weight rooms, locker rooms, video editing facilities and a theater area will be housed in a separate practice facility area at Littlejohn...The expansion of the tennis facility will allow for full-team matches to be played indoors, as well as allowing both men's and women's teams to practice at the same time...Academic support services will move from Vickery Hall to a new space incorporated into the University's Core Campus project, which will include dining facilities, residential areas, and retail areas. Academically oriented space in the facility will be approximately 5,000 square feet, with shared-use seminar and meeting space for students and faculty.

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Comments » 1

SoCalTiger writes:

Will the basketball program itself be rebuilt by 2016-2017?

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