Regents approve facility renovation, $7 million for stadium parking land

Lora Pabst

The athletics department scored big at the Board of Regents Facilities Committee meeting last week.

The committee approved an athletics facility renovation and a land purchase that will impact the future stadium site.

Football facility update

The athletics department is planning to renovate the Gibson-Nagurski football training and equipment room.

Scott Ellison, associate athletics director for facilities, said the training room will be expanded and the equipment room will be finished with new carpet and wall and ceiling finishes.

“The biggest thing in the training room is we’re putting in plunge pools,” he said.

Plunge pools are used for therapeutic purposes. Athletes use them to do full or lower-body submersion, Ellison said. The plunge pools are the first of their kind for the athletics department.

The cost for the renovation is $950,000, all of which was raised from outside sources. Construction will begin after the Gophers football team returns from the Music City Bowl game. The scheduled renovation completion date is April 1, Ellison said.

Stadium site land purchase

The Board of Regents also approved a land purchase near the proposed on-campus stadium site. It most likely will serve as parking for a new Gophers stadium. The land was owned by Reichhold, a chemical company.

University Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter said the land is important for establishing the boundaries of the University. The land is part of an area that is considered the northern boundary of campus and the University is interested in owning the land up to that point, he said.

“When you’re landlocked in an urban environment, and parcels of land near the University come available, you almost have to buy them,” Pfutzenreuter said. “They don’t come on the market that often.”

University Budget Officer Brian Swanson said the land will be used as a parking lot for potential stadium parking.

“The Reichhold purchase is something the University would do with or without the stadium, but now that we have it, we’ll make use of it for the stadium,” he said.

Pfutzenreuter said a private-sector competitor was also bidding for the land, which drove the price up. The University will pay $7 million for 8.94 acres.