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Kernel Editorial: Practice facility will benefit all of UK's athletic teams

Issue date: 1/16/07 Section: Opinions
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When the UK Athletics Department unveiled its $30 million basketball practice facility on Jan. 11, UK students and fans got their first glimpse of a facility full of wooden lockers, state-of-the-art video rooms and two practice courts. The facility is extravagant, high-tech and much-needed.

The UK basketball teams have finally moved out of Memorial Coliseum, which was built in 1950. They now have a 100,000-square-foot practice facility, located directly behind the old gym.

Not only was there not enough room in Memorial, but also the gym was significantly outdated. The new facility has men's and women's sides with equal gym, locker and office space.

With the basketball teams moving out of Memorial Coliseum, there will be more room and gym time for other teams - such as volleyball and gymnastics - that use Memorial for practices and games.

The new facility features video rooms to watch game films, new men's and women's locker rooms, and new coaches' offices. The facility will catch UK up with other Southeastern Conference schools that also have new practice gyms, according to a UK Athletics Department press release.

Having a new practice facility should help bring in more recruits. A new facility on campus with so many amenities is sure to lure in prospective students and coaches alike.

While it would be great to see UK spend $30 million on a new classroom building or on revamping dining services, UK Athletics is self-sustaining and funded separately from the university. The money used to build the new facility came from donations and private funds, according to the press release.

The UK basketball programs were long overdue for a new place to practice. All of UK's gym-based teams now have more room and availability to practice. Even though $30 million is a huge amount of money, it was well spent.
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