NCAA Football: Sugar Bowl-Georgia vs Baylor

Georgia Bulldogs fans cheer against Baylor Bears at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

ATHENS — There wasn’t a lot of new business discussed at Wednesday’s winter meeting of the Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors. But there was some info shared about how the Bulldogs plan to spend all that money they have coming in.

Detailed renderings were shared of the new $80 million football operations building that is being added to the Butts-Mehre Athletics Complex on South Campus. Georgia football players will be thrilled to find out that plans for their locker room inside the four-story facility include air-conditioned individual lockers that include reclining seats.

There is also a game room that overlooks the indoor practice facility, a drastically expanded weight room that includes 32 custom-built racks and a state-of-the-art training facility designed by nationally-acclaimed sports medicine director Ron Courson. The players’ locker room and various lounge areas make minimal use of UGA graphics and logos.

“We want it to feel like a home away from home,” said deputy athletic director Josh Brooks, who gave the full board a slide presentation during the meeting at Georgia’s Center for Continuing Education. “We want them to spend time there.”

There also will be new coaches’ offices, position meeting rooms and a team meeting room featuring 180 extra-wide seats that will be “a show piece for recruits.”

Construction is already under way on the project, which is expected to be completed by April of 2021. Athletic director Greg McGarity informed the board that UGA has already raised $47.5 million to pay for the new building. The board voted to extend a $50 million line of credit with PNC Bank for the West End Zone improvements to cover construction costs. Board treasurer Ryan Nesbitt reported that UGA owes only $1.4 million on that line.

Outside of football, Georgia is close to completing the $8 million construction on the new Henry Feild grandstand at the Dan Magill Tennis Complex. Only graphics work and landscaping remains to be done. It will be officially opened when the Bulldogs host Florida Atlantic in a dual match on Monday, Feb. 24.

Faculty-athletics representative Craig Shipley delivered a glowing academic report, which included cumulative grade-point average for 3.04 for all student-athletes, and 2.97 for the midpoint of the current semester. However, Shipley did add that football and men’s basketball, with 2.27 and 2.25 team GPAs at the midterm, “need to step up.”

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