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February 4, 2011 at 2:41 PM

UW considers plans to build multi-million dollar practice facility

Standing on the sideline at Oregon’s new $227 million Matthew Knight Arena, coach Lorenzo Romar said Washington is planning to build a multi-million dollar facility for the men’s and women’s basketball teams that would serve as a practice facility and a place for basketball operations.
(Is it hard to recruit against Oregon because it has Matt Arena?) “Hard to recruit against is not a concern. I’ve always said if they’re hard to recruit against, that means they’re better and that means our league is better. If we had a number of schools in our league like man, this is really, really competitive. This is just hard. All of these teams are so good at recruiting, then our league is pretty good.”
(Do you run the risk of becoming obsolete?) “We got to do our job. If we just sit back while everyone else is getting better and we don’t get better, well then okay. That’s how it goes.”
(What’s first on your to-do list?) “We are seriously looking at a new facility, not where we play, but a new practice facility that will house our offices and the weight room and everything. It will be a nice improvement. I wouldn’t change our place. I love our gym. I love how it’s set up. I love the whole thing. But there are some other things that I think we’re looking to improve upon and I think we’ll get it done.”
(Is that independent of the football stadium project?) “Yes.”
(How far along are you in the process?) “Right now we’re in the planning stages.”

(Would this be an attachment to Edmundson Pavilion?) “Probably an attachment. That’s what the goal is.”
(Would the aquatics facility work?) “That could be one area. But again we’ve talked about some things that’s in the early stages. I just know that we’re planning on doing something that I think is going to be really nice.”
(Would the tennis court area work?) “There’s several places. Where Harshman Court is. You could build out on that. You could potentially.”
(In an ideal world, what would your dream facility look like?) “Your general facility would look like you are very serious about basketball. In a nutshell what that looks like, you have a place to practice at all times. You have a place for your players in season and out of season. Always have a place to work on their games. Everything within close proximity. You don’t have to walk one place and so now I want to lift then I got to walk on the other side somewhere. It’s all right there for you. The NBA and some colleges have that. The NBA has it to where it’s almost like an apartment where they go there. They eat there. They sleep there. They practice there. They watch television there. On a collegiate level, it’s a place where you go to study. You have computers. It’s a place that’s like a second home. A place like that nowadays is something that really helps your program, but it also helps with recruiting.”
(When did these plans begin?) “We’ve been talking about this seriously now probably about a year.”
(If Oregon hadn’t opened its new arena, would UW still have plans on building a practice facility?) “Yes. Our competition isn’t necessarily Oregon. (It’s) on a national scale. If we only recruited in Portland or in the state of Oregon that would be one thing, but we recruit in a lot of different places. Often times we’re going against Carolina, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and places. Oregon has as fine a facilities as there are. But there are other places that have them too.”
(Hec Ed underwent renovation 10 years ago and there’s three practice courts inside the building. It seems as if there’s enough room for everybody.) “If graduation is going on in Hec Ed and for whatever reasons there’s something else going on in Harshman Court that leaves one (court) for three teams, men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball. We always work it out. There’s never been an issue. And (there’s) the weight room. You have football. You have all the different sports using the weight room and there’s certain times that you’re limited. The coaches in our athletics department is great because everybody works together and fits it in. But if you have an opportunities where you have conflicted class schedules and you can’t use the weight room because somebody else is using it, it helps to have your own weight room. … When President Obama spoke in our gym, while that was going on you have to move everything to different places. If you have your own facility when that happens, it doesn’t affect you.
“In the offseason … graduations go for the entire month of June it seems. So there’s a number of things that are going on in the offseason that will prevent you (from working out). There were a couple of times even the IMA wasn’t available. So sometimes your guys have to go off campus to find a place to play. So just in terms of being the best we can be, something like this makes sense.”
(Over the course of a year, how often to scheduling conflicts happen?) “During the year we use it (the arena) all the time. We trade off with volleyball and women’s basketball. And when volleyball season ends, we work through it with women’s basketball. When we’re on the road, they use our gym and when they’re on the road we use Hec Ed. During the season again it’s not just the practice facility. It’s the weight room. It’s the training room. It’s everything. When the season ends, a lot of things are scheduled. Our campus is a popular campus. A lot of things are scheduled.”
(Which teams would be the primary tenants?) “It would be for men’s and women’s (basketball).”



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