GREAT NEWS!Miami athletics getting $5 million for facilities
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) — Miami's athletic department has received the largest gift in its history, a $5 million donation earmarked toward substantially upgrading facilities for the university's 400 student-athletes.
The gift from the Ted & Todd Schwartz Family Foundation will help provide a new academic center for members of Hurricane sports teams, a larger sports medicine facility, a new football locker room and a gallery of champions. The deal is scheduled to be announced Friday.
Preliminary details obtained by The Associated Press show the total cost of the project is planned at $13.6 million, of which $10.5 million had already been raised.
"The generosity of the Schwartz Family will sustain the University of Miami in its spot among the top premier athletics programs in the nation by expanding and renovating the resources and facilities we offer to current and future student-athletes," university president Donna Shalala said.
Miami has long been maligned for not having state-of-the-art facilities, and changing that perception has been a point of emphasis for the university for the past several years. The university created what it called "The Sprint for Hurricane Athletics" in 2007, a plan to raise more than $70 million for all of Miami's programs.
Some of the work has already been done: The baseball stadium, largely through a gift from New York Yankees third baseman and Miami trustee Alex Rodriguez, has been upgraded, as have the facilities for track, soccer and tennis. The Hurricanes' basketball teams now practice in a new fieldhouse as well.
"Ted & Todd Schwartz's gift ensures our future ability to sustain athletic excellence in this age of continued facility growth and enhancement throughout the college athletics landscape," Miami athletic director Kirby Hocutt said.
The new facility will be known as the Theodore G. Schwartz and Todd G. Schwartz Center for Athletic Excellence. It will be an expansion and renovation of the current Hecht Athletic Center.
Plans for the new facility include a 120-seat auditorium, classrooms, tutoring rooms, labs for computer, math and science study, as well as staff offices, study spaces, the football locker room and a lounge for the football team. The sports medicine facility will expand to three times its current size, with new in-ground hydrotherapy pools, digital imaging and rehabilitation space.
Ted Schwartz founded and chairs the board of APAC Customer Services, based in Illinois. His son Todd Schwartz is director of the family foundation and founder and president of Beach Coast Properties and Opportunity Financial.