Weathering Damage

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    The $7 million Sam Baugh indoor practice facility could be complete by the end of the month despite some weather-related construction delays.Head football coach Gary Patterson said crews are working to finish the construction before April 27, the start of a two-day Nike camp that could bring several possible recruits to campus.

    “To actually be able to use it for recruiting reasons and have it done for student-athletes to see what TCU has to offer (is our goal),” Patterson said.

    High winds related to a dust storm at the end of February blew off a portion of the roof, and recent rain has also slowed the building process, said Ross Bailey, associate director of athletics for operations.

    Bailey said construction is 17 days behind because of the weather.

    “We’re replacing the east side of the roof that was damaged from the storm,” he said. “They’re finishing up the plaster on the sides and the outside cosmetics are getting finished up.”

    For the inside, Bailey said workers must clean the turf and put in the lights.

    The football team will be able to practice all the maneuvers it needs to except punting, Patterson said. He said punting in the facility would require a higher roof that would add more than $3 million to the price tag.

    “For us in Texas, we don’t have that much bad weather for it to make that much difference,” Patterson said.

    A higher roof was never in the plans as TCU was able to quickly get two donations to finance the project, said Davis Babb, associate director of athletics for development. The university received a $3 million donation from the Jean and John Justin Foundation while the remaining $4 million was an anonymous donation, Babb said.

    “There are some schools that have facilities that large (for punting),” Babb said. “Our fundraising effort was to go right in and get the money raised for this particular one. It’s good enough for field goals and passing.”

    The football team will use the facility during lightning storms and possibly in extreme cold though never in extreme heat, Patterson said.

    The field turf will not be new to the football team as it practiced there for two years prior to the addition of the roof, Patterson said.

    The soccer, baseball and track and field teams may also utilize the facility for their strength and conditioning programs, Bailey said.

    A dedication ceremony is planned for May 10.

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