Athletic center getting much-needed facelift

The University of Miami athletic department received a record $5,000,000 donation from UM boosters Theodore Schwartz and his son, Todd Schwartz.

The new two-story facility will feature a student-athlete academic center, a sports medicine facility, a new football locker room and football lounge, as well as a “gallery of champions” at the entrance.

The new complex will encompass 30,000 square feet of new space, as well as a renovation of the current Hecht Athletic Center, renaming it the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence.

“It’s going to take this program to the next level,” UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt said of the $5 million donation. “This isn’t the end. It’s the start of further enhancements to our athletic facility. Once we get this project finalized there are other needs that we have that we’ll turn our focus to.

“We’re so excited and appreciative of the Schwartz family stepping forward.”

According to the Miami Herald:

Ted Schwartz, 57, a longtime Hurricanes fan, lives in Chicago and has a residence in Aventura. He’s founder and chairman of the board of directors of APAC Customer Services, Inc., based in Bannockburn, Ill. His son Todd, 29, graduated from Tulane and is president of TCS Realty in Chicago.

Hocutt said the project has raised $10.5 million of its $13.68 million goal. He said construction should begin 12 to 15 months from now, and is expected to be completed in another 18 months from then.

The academic area on the second floor will include classrooms, tutor rooms, a computer lab, a math-and-science technology lab, academic advisor offices, a 120-seat auditorium, a learning resource room and study space to accommodate more than 400 student-athletes.

The first floor will have the new football team locker room, with a lounge for players to “congregate after and before practices, watch SportsCenter, play video games or just relax,” Hocutt said.

When the football team moves into its new space, the area in which it now has its locker room, plus the 3,300 square feet used now for athletic training/sports medicine, will become a 10,000-square-foot sports medicine facility on the ground floor. The sports medicine complex will feature in-ground hydrotherapy pools, examination rooms, digital imaging and extensive rehabilitation space for all athletes.

Hocutt said the “gallery of champions” will be a place to exhibit national championship trophies and other awards from the past. It will not take the place of the UM Sports Hall of Fame.

Besides Alex Rodriguez Park, the most significant enhancement made in the past few years to UM athletic facilities was the basketball field house with practice areas.

UM also made modest enhancements recently to Cobb Stadium for track and field prior to hosting the Atlantic Coast Conference championships last spring, as well as minor enhancements to the Schiff Family Tennis Center and some football support areas and coaching offices.

The $5M donation is the second largest financial gift to UM athletics. Last decade almost-Cane, long-time Miami resident and Westminster Christian baseball alum Alex Rodriguez donated $3.9M to help fund Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field.

On behalf of Canes fans everywhere, a hearty thank you to the Schwartz family for stepping up and taking Miami athletics to that next level.



5 thoughts on “Athletic center getting much-needed facelift

  1. Great story, with a bit of luck, if the Canes get to a BCS game in the (very) near future, a portion of that could cover the rest of the cost. Glad to see someone else outside of the U family making such a significant contribution…

  2. This is what the University of Miami has desperately needed for a long time now.Thanks to this amazing donation, the program can provide the best possible athletic facilities for it's future student- athletes and continue to compete at a high level in collegiate sports. We as 'Canes fans thank you for the incredible generosity, and we're excited about the future of this program. GO CANES!!!

  3. That's what I'm talkin' about. Short of having a new on-campus stadium built, this is about as important a facility as we can build. Huge for recruiting, among many other things. Great news.

  4. This is awesome. Thanks a lot to the Schwartz family. Its going to be such a needed boost. This will not only give the players an amazing new place to get better but it will be a nice and needed boost to help with recruits. Its going to be one hell of a "Gallery of Champions". Id like to see kids' faces when they walk in and see all those trophies and im sure a HUGE list of NFL players will be represented. The ever growing, ever great list that is.

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