USC Athletic Director Pat Haden announced plans Saturday for a new athletic complex to replace the facilities in Heritage Hall, making it the first university construction project announced since the completion of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center.
The two-story, 110,000-square-foot building will cost $70 million and will be built on top of the current intramural field north of Cromwell Field. The 70,000-square-foot Heritage Hall will remain in use, and its spaces will be reorganized and split among athletic department staff, a workout area and a new student-athlete lounge.
“I am delighted that the president and university leaders share our vision about the necessity and value of this new athletic building,” Haden said in a press release. “This facility has been in the formative stages for a while now and I am excited that we are ready to move forward.”
The intramural field will move to the current location of the Music Practice and Instructional Center, which will be demolished.
The project is the first construction announced by the university since the completion of the Ronald Tutor Campus Center, the massive 193,000-square-foot, $136-million building that replaced Commons and the Norman Topping Student Center. That construction project took two years to complete, and the campus center formally opened its doors in August.
Groundbreaking for the athletic facility will begin in January and is slated to take 18 months to complete.
The new building will have a basement that connects to the basement of Heritage Hall, and it will include a 32,000-square-foot weight room — more than three times larger than the current weight room in Heritage Hall, which covers 9,600 square feet.
It will also feature a much larger training room — 18,000 square feet compared to the current 2,700 square feet — and a football locker room and lounge that will be accessible from Howard Jones Field, the football practice field across the street.
“While Heritage Hall will always be the central point of our athletic department, the reality is that we have outgrown Heritage Hall and we are badly undersized and overcrowded in there,” Haden said. “This new building will be the finest of its kind anywhere and will provide our student-athletes every opportunity to succeed academically and athletically.”
The ground floor will feature a new student-academic services area as well as a vaulted lobby and outdoor courtyard. Football will take over most of the second floor with coaches’ offices and video and meeting rooms. There will also be an outdoor patio.
“We are very excited about the number of donors who are stepping up with major gifts to make this project a reality for our student-athletes and their coaches,” said President C.L. Max Nikias in a university statement. “These donors recognize the importance of USC’s legendary athletic tradition and want to do their part to promote athletic excellence and educational excellence now and in the future.”