UK approves $10 million donation for football practice facility

jsmith3@herald-leader.comApril 1, 2014 

UK's Anthony Kendrick flexed his muscles in the bench press trials during the University of Kentucky football's annual Pro Day in Nutter Field House.

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The University of Kentucky is now in what it calls the "early schematic design phase" for the new football practice facility, but doesn't have any formal drawings in place yet.

However, the athletics department has hired an architect.

HNTB and Ross Tarrant Architects, the same team brought on to complete the $110 million Commonwealth Stadium renovations, has been hired to design the practice facility.

Kentucky is in the process of selecting a construction manager, UK spokesman DeWayne Peevy said.

The practice facility, which will connect to the Nutter Indoor Training Center and include new practice fields between that and Alumni Drive, has been estimated to cost $45 million.

At least $10 million of that is coming from the Blue Grass Community Foundation of Lexington on behalf of an anonymous donor.

That donation, which was part of the $23 million in private donations UK confirmed having raised last month, was approved by the University's Board of Trustees on Tuesday.

Peevy said he did not have a current figure on the amount of money raised for the practice facility.

Several donations for the Rupp Arena locker room renovations also were made anonymously through the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

The foundation previously has said it doesn't release the names of donors unless they wish to be named.

The university's board also approved $368,962 more for the project to upgrade and expand Commonwealth Stadium. The additional money provides graphic design services and accelerated steel purchases as well as the "incorporation of the university electronic security initiatives."

Jennifer Smith: (859) 231-3241. Twitter: @jenheraldleader. Blog: ukfootball.bloginky.com.

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