Work started Thursday on replacing the 11-year-old FieldTurf at Jones AT&T Stadium, and that’s not the only nice thing on the way for Texas Tech players.
The Red Raiders’ locker room in the Football Training Facility also will be renovated this offseason, athletic director Kirby Hocutt said Thursday.
The latter project is in the design phase. Gensler architects are producing renderings at the moment that Tech expects to see in the next few weeks, and the goal is to have the team back in the refurbished locker room for summer conditioning workouts, which start in June.
“So it’ll be a fast-track project,” Hocutt said, who said the square footage will remain the same.
The Red Raiders are using their Jones AT&T Stadium game-day locker room in the winter and early spring.
Tech’s doing the turf replacement project at a cost of about $600,000 — again with FieldTurf. It’s expected to take about a month and be in by March 1. Tech plans to play its spring game at 6 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. April 8 in Jones AT&T Stadium.
The new turf will have similarities to the previous: Black end zones, “TEXAS TECH” in one end zone and “RED RAIDERS” in the other and the Double-T logo at midfield. The font of the lettering will be different, however — more thin and vertical than the wide, thick horizontal look of the recent past.
The Double-T logo will be larger. An NCAA rule allows the logo to stretch from hash mark to hash mark — it was a little smaller than that in the old turf — so Tech will make the Double-T maximum size. Width-wise, the logo will stretch across the 45-yard lines, whereas the previous was contained slightly within the 45s. Tech will stay with a black and white border around the field’s perimeter.
Another part of the project is replacement of an artificial turf practice field outside the Football Training Facility. The Red Raiders have two practice fields — one grass, one artificial and they’ll be reversed.
“The grass field will be located on the far east side of the practice fields,” Hocutt said, “and the turf will be on the west side of the practice fields. That has to do with the sunlight being able to hit the natural grass field over the height of the new indoor facility, so those will be flipped.”
The indoor Sports Performance Center, for use by the football and track programs, has had a target date of August for opening. It’s being constructed with $48 million in private donations and within budget, Hocutt said.
“If anything, we’re under budget right now,” he said. “It will be on time, on budget as we sit here today. I say on time … If you ask them over there now, they’d say they’re seven to 10 weeks behind, but we’ll work on the schedule and our goal will be to make those days up as we go forward — weather dependant, of course.”
Some other athletic department projects are under way or about to be:
— A new softball scoreboard at Rocky Johnson Field. It’s to be ready before the March 3 home opener against Texas-El Paso.
— Expansion of the golf teams’ practice facility. Hocutt said Tech has received a lead gift and is going through the architect selection process.
— Renovation of the Garst Pavilion for the tennis teams. That’s been started. “If you go over there tomorrow,” Hocutt said, “you’ll see a new floor. You’ll see some new graphics on the wall. You’ll see some updated lockers throughout that facility, so it’s progress.”
— A baseball clubhouse renovation at Rip Griffin Park has been scheduled to crank up after the 2017 season. Hocutt said Tech’s received a lead gift for what he anticipates will be “a million-dollar-plus project.”
The undertakings are part of Tech athletics’ “Campaign for Fearless Champions” that was revealed in early 2014. Fundraising for that campaign has reached $120 million, Hocutt said. When formally announced in August 2014, the campaign was projected to be a $185 million fundraising endeavor with $75 million donated or pledged at the time.
Hocutt said 20 of its 25 projects are now completed.