Apr 2, 2010 9:58 PM by Andy Koen

Construction projects planned at Academy

The skyline of the US Air Force Academy will be changing in the coming years as a pair of new construction projects get underway.

First up is the construction of a $16 million 92,000 square foot Indoor Athletics Facility, to be built just to the north of the Cadet Field House.

Dr. Erv Rokke, president of the USAFA Endowment says financing for the building was greatly accelerated by a $5 million donation from graduate Bart Holaday '65 and his wife Lynn, the largest private donation from a graduate ever.

"A gift this large has an impact on potential donors," Rokke said.

Within a month of the Holaday's gift, several other large donations came in and the USAFA Endowment had received $14.5 million for the project.

"It put us in a position where we can move forward with construction this summer," Rokke said.

The IAF will not be a replacement but rather a complement to the field house. Senior Assistant Athletic Director Jim Trego says there are times during sports seasons overlap and there's not enough room to fit all the teams.

"For example, when the football team is getting ready for a bowl game, if this is set up for track and field, they can't come inside."

Trego says the addition will be a great recruiting tool in the increasingly competitive environment of intercollegiate athletics.

"You know, you look around the Mountain West Conference, as well as the other major conferences in the country and it's just become a norm that you've got to have an indoor multi-purpose facility."

That construction should begin in either July or August and take between 7-8 months to complete.

Rokke says great care was given the design of the building so that it complemented the iconic structures of the campus such as the Terrazzo or the Cadet Chapel.

"We think it's a beautiful structure and we believe it will add to the impressive qualities this institution already has."

The second major project is the expansion of the Center for Character and Leadership Development, a multi-purpose building that will rival the Chapel in its elevation.

"That will also be an iconic structure that will improve dramatically the architectural ambiance of the Academy."

Rokke says they hope to begin construction on the CCLD in early 2011.

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