USC commits $35 million to Heritage Hall upgrades
USC announced a $35 million renovation to Heritage Hall last Thursday as part of its $300 million Heritage Initiative.
The initiative was announced in late August in order to âprovide the best athletic and academic facilities for the nationâs best collegiate athletes,â according to USC Athleticsâ website. The initiative will be co-chaired by former football coach John Robinson and Barbara Hedges, who helped create the USC womenâs athletics program while serving as a Trojan athletics administrator.
The groundbreaking for the $35 million facelift to Heritage Hall is slated for January 2013, according to the website.
The renovations will only redesign some 80,000 square feet of the interior of Heritage Hall, Senior Associate Athletic Director Mark Jackson said.
âThis will be a period of transition for student athletes and staff, but it shouldnât affect how we practice,â Jackson said.
Caesar Aguilar, a student manager of the football team, said the renovations are much-needed and could even attract more recruits.
âThe renovations to Heritage Hall have been much-awaited,â Aguilar said. âSome of the football players used to say to me that they were grossed out by the stains on the floor when they walked through. I think that the renovations will encourage recruits to come to USC, because Heritage needs the upgrade. Itâs a huge reason a lot of football players choose another school.â
Another feature of the Heritage Initiative is the construction of a new aquatics center, partially funded by former USC swim team captain Fred Uytengsu. The center will house a new diving dry-land training area, dive tower and locker and team meeting rooms. It will also include coachesâ offices, a multi-purpose room, a larger stadium and a new scoreboard with video visuals, according to the website.
Upgrades to Marks Tennis Stadium and the construction of a sand volleyball court, as well as the completion of suites at the Galen Center are also part of the initiative.
Jake Balentine, a freshman majoring in computer science, said he believes the improvements will work to bolster USCâs athletic standing.
âAfter the Olympics, our reputation of athletics went up more, and along with our historical presence in the Olympics, our renovations just add to the reputation we have,â he said.