Clemson athletics will soon break ground on a new performance and wellness center that will primarily serve as a state-of-the-art training hub for the school’s Olympic sports.
Clemson University’s Board of Trustees on Friday approved the first phase of what will be a 50,000-square-foot facility located south of Jervey Gym on campus. Construction is expected to begin late this year upon the approval of Phase II of the project, which will include some renovations to the soccer and track and field facilities inside the Jervey Athletic Center.
The project, which will cost approximately $50 million, is expected to be completed in time for the 2024-25 athletic seasons.
“Two years or less is when we want to be in it,” Clemson athletic director Graham Neff said.
Neff said all 21 sports will have access to the new facility. But with football (Allen N. Reeves Football Complex) and men’s and women’s basketball (Littlejohn Coliseum and Swann Pavilion) being housed in their own training facilities, the wellness center will primarily be home to the other 18 sports for strength and conditioning, sports medicine nutrition and applied science programs.
The Jervey Athletic Center has been the primary home for those sports since it was built in 1973. It’s undergone just one substantial renovation since then, and that was in 1995. Neff said it made financial sense to construct a new facility.
“Over the past year, we’ve looked at expansion and renovation of Jervey and we got to the point where it’s 50 years old and you get systems and HVAC, it just became more bang for the buck and a best outcome to build new,” he said. “Jervey isn’t going anywhere, but it’s the extension of those programs for all Olympic sports.
“It’s just a really impactful project. When you do a soccer operations project for $8 million, that’s impactful for men’s and women’s soccer. That’s two sports and 60 student-athletes. And when you do a $12.5-million tennis facility, it’s two sports and 15 student-athletes. Really impactful. We’ve done a lot of that and will continue to do it, but this facility will impact 400 student-athletes over 18 sports.”
Neff said he also felt like trying to lure prospective athletes with a 60-year old training facility as part of the recruiting pitch put the Tigers at a disadvantage in those sports. That will no longer be the case, he said.
“I don’t know that it’s been a headwind from a recruiting of a facilities standpoint, but it probably hasn’t been something we’ve really promoted from the recruiting trail with where that facility is,” Neff said. “Now this will jump us into a recruiting advantage for those important areas more and moreso. This is a core facility that touches 18 sports. That’s really, really impactful.”
Photo rendering courtesy of Clemson Athletics
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