GUELPH, ON – Over the past several years, the University of Guelph's Alumni Stadium has undergone plenty of changes. The most recent change just so happens to be the biggest one of them all. And it is now officially underway.
On Thursday, April 28 the Gryphon football program officially broke ground on a new $8.5 million facility at Alumni Stadium. The project funded by the Angel Gabriel Foundation, the charity started by former head football coach Stu Lang and his wife, Kim, is scheduled to open in December of 2016.
Lang, who served as the Gryphons head coach from 2010 to 2015, has helped turn the Gryphon football program into one of the top university football programs in the country. The Gryphons boast a regular season record of 28-4 over the past four seasons, and this past November, captured the school's first Yates Cup title since 1996. The impressive turnaround on the field has been accompanied by an equally impressive upgrade in the team's facilities. "We want prospective student-athletes to look at the University of Guelph and know that their experience here will be second to none."
For Scott McRoberts, the Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph, the excitement surrounding this project goes beyond the players and coaches, "For our community and alumni members, this facility will further enhance the gameday experience.
We are entering into another exciting era for Gryphon Athletics. With the world-class improvements being made to the facilities on our campus, we will continue to be a coveted destination for the top student-athletes around the country."
In what has become an increasingly competitive recruiting landscape, current head coach Kevin MacNeill knows that a facility upgrade of this magnitude can be a game-changer, "We've always been able to engage recruits when talking about our rich history and the tremendous academic opportunities here. But when you couple that with state-of-the-art facilities, U of G truly becomes a top destination for young men looking to play football at the CIS level."
The two story structure will connect to the existing facility of Alumni Stadium and will be located in the north west corner of the field near College Ave. The main level of this facility will house a new, 3,300 square foot, state-of-the-art locker room for the Gryphon football team which will also connect to a Player's Lounge, giving Gryphon players an area to study or relax year round. The second floor of the building will feature floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the field with an abundance of meeting room space for the players and coaches to review film and host team meetings. Also included on the second floor is a large boardroom as well as several coach's offices and a dedicated video production room.
The rooftop of the facility will be transformed into a viewing area for football alumni on game days and is accessible by both stairs and elevator. Expansive renovations taking place inside the existing structure of Alumni Stadium include a new equipment room as well as a brand new 1,000 square foot therapy centre, complete with a dedicated hydrotherapy room which will feature a pair of therapeutic plunge pools.
The general contractor Harbridge + Cross is heading the construction on this project while the team of architects leading the design are from M.J.M.A. (Maclennan Jaunkains Miller Architects) – the same group that is leading the design of the New Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre.