In life there is no such thing as a perfect plan and the UB Facilities improvements are certainly subject to that rule. Anyone who looks at the 20 page master plan is bound to pick out some aspect with which they disagree and our motley crew of writers here is no different.
For Conrad there is the legitimate question of is it worth sinking more money into a stadium he calls "UB's White Elephant Gift". Sometimes you hit a point where you are just throwing good money after bad and upgrading a 20 year old track venue built "on the cheap" for the 1994 World University Games might be one of those situations.
Conrad also takes issue with the baseball, soccer, and other spending which does not benefit football. We hear time after time that it's football which has to carry the "State University of New York" banner to the masses so why spend more that 15 million on other programs until football is set?
For Me it's the investments into Nan Harvey field. Not because I feel like it's unwarranted but because Id rather that 2 million dollars be put towards the 20 million dollar field house. 10% of the total field house cost is nothing to sneeze at. For what it's worth Matt has the same concern that I do.
Dave loves the idea of the soccer field but wants some clarification on if it would also be suitable for NCAA Lacrosse.
There are also things we all like. We all like the idea of getting Track out of UB stadium, that is if we have to keep UB stadium.
Three parts of the plan are already in motion.
The East Club, Ortman Tennis Center, and the Athletics Training centers are all in various stages of implementation. That totals about 13 million of the more than 55 million dollars committed to by the department. Funding for the other ventures, particularly the UB field house is an ongoing focus, and one which is not counting on New York State for any help.
"We are having on going conversations with potential donors that will allow us to move forward" Said one source in the Athletics department. He continues "Our recent success and culture change within the dept. has really opened up doors for us and is making the conversations easier."
Outside of the Master list in the departments plan there is the new stand alone student recreation center. Recently a vote was held on build a facility and it passed putting the venue's potential completion date to 2017 or 2018. While this center does not directly benefit UB athletics it will free up all of the space in Alumni Arena currently used for purposes outside of the Athletics Department.
All of the currently active projects and the future projects will proceed as fast as private funding allows.
No matter how you score the plan put forth by Director White and the Athletics department it is, in the end, what UB is going to do and it is the first comprehensive facilities improvement plan I have ever seen come out of UBAD. It's a bold vision in line with Director White's ambitious philosophy of putting UB athletics in better standing among it's institutional peers.
Like everything White has done there will be supporters and detractors and I'm sure both will make themselves heard over the coming years.