Cole Field House at the University of Maryland has just debuted the new Cole Field House practice facility to the public, and the new indoor football facility is quite impressive. For years, Cole Field House was the home of the University of Maryland Terps men's and women's basketball teams, but now basketball is played across campus at the Xfinity Center. The new Cole Field House practice facility is five years in the making, but the facelift on the 61-year-old building seems worth the wait.
Don Markus of the Baltimore Sun was amongst the crowd of university and state officials on hand for the grand opening of the new Cole Field House practice facility which he described as "eye-popping." At the end of the planned project, the new Cole Field House will combine football with medical research and business, and will be one of a kind. No one in attendance would have argued that the project wasn't worth the wait.
"The proposed $155 million project will eventually include a weight room, new offices and two outdoor practice fields for the football team as well as the more than 40,000 square feet dedicated to the Center for Sports Medicine, Health and Human Performance, an orthopedic treatment center and the school's Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship."University of Maryland President Wallace Loh explained that the new Cole Field House was taking the large traditional building in the center of campus into the 21st century and building a bridge between the University of Maryland in College Park and the University of Maryland in Baltimore, which is the home of the University of Maryland Medical School and the University of Maryland Hospital.
"Today we're here to celebrate a fearless innovation, the transformation of Cole Field House for the 21st century … that brings together not just athletics but is integrated with neuroscience, research on the brain, brain recovery. It is about education, innovation, and entrepreneurship."A large amount of the funding for the new Cole Field House has come from approximately 140 notable donors, many of which are alumni, and include Kevin Plank of Under Armour, who has donated $25 million and pledged another $40 million to the new Cole Field House practice facility project. Maryland football Coach DJ Durkin and former Terps basketball coach Gary Williams were among the athletic coaching notables at the unveiling of the new Cole Field House. Durkin, who will now be the beneficiary, along with his team of the shiny and new Cole Field House football practice facility, gave a speech about his own memories of the iconic building.
"My memories of Cole Field House is Coach Williams on the sideline, just sweating everywhere, yelling at players, officials, anyone here, and to walk into this building with him... was pretty special. Really special."Many alumni have an emotional attachment to Cole Field House and are glad that the building is getting a new life rather than end up demolished like so many others (but for the record, Ritchie Coliseum, where the Maryland Terps played basketball from 1931-1955 is still standing and has just received a renovation of its own). Coach Durkin took his players on a tour of the new Cole Field House practice facility before the unveiling event, and many upperclassmen, like senior defensive tackle Cavon Walker, say that the facility is much needed.
"There was rumors of the indoor facility since me coming since my freshman year. We always needed that. It has always been preached about coming. Now that it's here, it gave us hope for the more change that is about to come."
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Coach Durkin says that he will start using the new Cole Field House practice facility immediately for daily walk-throughs before outdoor practice. He says that adding the state of the art facility to the University of Maryland campus will let local football talent know that they no longer have to leave the state to get everything and more from a football program.
Are you eager to see the new Cole Field House practice facility at the University of Maryland?
[Featured Image by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images]