Indoor training center at UT ready for dedicationWritten by Duane Ramsey | | email@example.com
The Fetterman Training Center, UT’s new indoor multipurpose athletic facility, will be introduced to the public with an official dedication Feb. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Fans with tickets to the men’s basketball game against Buffalo that night will have the opportunity to attend the dedication and tour the facility before the game. UT President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs and Athletic Director Michael O’Brien will speak at the dedication.
“The Fetterman Training Center is a natural extension of the renovated Savage Arena and symbolizes our desire to provide the best for our student athletes as they mature into tomorrow’s leaders,” Jacobs said in a statement released before the dedication.
“The Fetterman family has set an excellent example for our students on what it means to give back to one’s community,” he stated.
The new facility is named after Hal and Susan Fetterman who donated $1 million toward the $9 million cost of the project. The Fettermans, who reside in Florida for much of the year, will not attend the dedication.
“Our gift is our priority and not any recognition for it. We’re proud that all students will benefit from that gift,” Hal said. “God has been good to us and we’re happy to give something back to the community.”
Fetterman didn’t go to college but his daughter, two sons-in-law and a grandson are UT graduates and another grandson is a senior there. He was a successful businessman and resident of the Toledo area for many years before retiring.
“We’re deeply grateful to the Fettermans whose generous donation helped make construction of this new facility possible,” O’Brien said.
The remainder of the project was paid for with institutional funding as part of the “Building Champions” campaign conducted by UT.
“With the completion of this center, renovation of Savage Arena and addition of the Sullivan Athletic Complex to the Glass Bowl Stadium, we’re comparable to all schools in the MAC when it comes to athletic facilities,” O’Brien said.
The 90,400 square-foot facility features a 100-yard football field with the same Field Turf surface as in the Glass Bowl, a regulation basketball and volleyball court, sprint lanes and a long jump pit for track, a golf practice room with lockers rooms for the men’s and women’s golf teams.
The project includes improvements to the adjacent outdoor track with permanent bleacher seating, elevated viewing platforms, and a press box for viewing both outdoor and indoor events.
The practice field can be used by football, soccer, baseball, softball and other sports.
It includes goal posts, a game scoreboard and a 65-foot high ceiling at its peak to allow for kicking and punting during practices.
The enclosed basketball/volleyball court has two portable and four fixed baskets with a game scoreboard. It will be used primarily for basketball and volleyball practices.
The former wooden floor from Savage Arena was refinished to recycle it and save $150,000. Two new locker rooms will be used by visiting teams playing in Savage Arena.
The 3,500 square-foot golf practice area located below the basketball practice court features driving cages, chipping and putting areas with customized turf and a video swing analysis center.
The center, which is connected to Savage Arena, is expected to open for use in mid-February once all the finishing touches are completed. It will be used by all 16 of UT’s varsity sports, O’Brien said.
The Fetterman Training Center drew praises from the coaches and players who will begin using the new facilities for spring training, according to O’Brien.
“These facilities are important when coaches are recruiting athletes who are considering playing here,” O’Brien said. “They can even help recruit coaches who will want to coach here when they see these facilities.”
The center includes many “green” energy-saving features and environmentally friendly materials, according to Chris Ewald, vice president of SSOE, Inc., architect of record for the project.
SSOE also designed the renovation of Savage Arena and was retained to provide the design work for the Fetterman Center, said Ewald, senior project manager for both.
The geothermal heating and cooling system includes 42 wells running 300 feet deep under the practice field. Water is circulated through a closed-loop system to heat the facility in the winter and keep it cooler in the summer.
The geothermal system requires 50 to 70 percent less energy than traditional systems and the savings will pay for it in approximately three years, said Ewald.
The “cool roof” made of a light colored material doesn’t increase the temperature inside the building. Custom lighting reflects off the inside of the roof to provide more natural light, said Ewald.
SSOE served as construction manager for the project. Another local firm, Rudolph-Libbe provided the pre-engineered structure and general trades contracts for the facility.
Numerous other local companies served as contractors or suppliers for the project.