Georgia Southern is planning some major upgrades to their football facilities in an effort to make them more appealing for a potential future move to the FBS.
When asked if the planned $10 million football operations buildingwas the first step in that process, GSU President Dr. Brooks Keel explained "Let’s put it this way, moving up requires stadium enhancement. We can’t even make a decision of whether we want to move up until we have the resources and facilities to handle everything else that goes with it.”
As it sits right now, the football facilities are scattered. When Jeff Monken was hired in 2010 that was one area he wanted to change. Now players meet with coaches for film sessions on the edge of campus, the weight room is nearby, and the training rooms and locker rooms are located in the fieldhouse about a half mile walk from the practice field. On game day the team dresses at the field house and hop on a bus over to the stadium and much of the equipment is taken over in vans.
When the new football ops building goes up, everything will be located under one roof in the east end zone of the stadium. The building will span 57,000 square feet and include the weight room, locker room, team meeting rooms, coaches offices, sports medicine rooms, and an area honoring the school's football hall of fame.
President Keel said that they have currently taken in $5.1 million in cash pledges so far, and have another $5.9 million in proposals from donors. When 80 percent of the proposals are accounted for, the University will only need permission from the Board of Regents and accept a bid from a construction company to begin to break ground on the new facility.
“We want to keep the guys excited about the football program and have them feel that every day they’re in a first-class athletic program, I know who we are. We’re not going to rival the University of Georgia or Tennessee or Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech. Those schools are a different level. But I want to be (a mid-major program) that people say, ‘If you’re going to do it, do it like Georgia Southern." head coach Jeff Monken explained.