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UB hires architect for fieldhouse; more fund-raising still required

The University at Buffalo took a step toward making a new fieldhouse for its football team a reality Monday.

The school has hired an architecture firm to design the facility, the university announced. The move is another sign UB is confident the project will happen in the forseeable future. However, UB still has important fund-raising to do before a shovel hits the ground, and there is no target date yet for the beginning of construction.

UB needs to have $6 million in hand before it can start construction. The total project is expected to cost roughly $16 million to $18 million. The university has a financing plan in place to borrow $10 million - once the $6 million figure is achieved.

The school will work with New York-based architecture firm CHA to design the facility. The proposed structure will include a 90,000-square-foot practice facility and a 15,000-square foot sports performance center for the athletics program. UB is one of only two schools in the Mid-American Conference (with Ball State) that do not have an indoor practice facility.

"The intent of UB's vision to create a 21st century living and learning campus environment is to ensure that all of our students, whether they are aspiring artists, architects, athletes, researchers, or physicians, have the same opportunities to be successful academically and in all of their extracurricular endeavors," said UB President Satish K. Tripathi in a statement. "This envisioned fieldhouse will enable our student-athletes to achieve their athletic potential while also benefitting our entire student body and university community."

The facility is expected to be situated just north of UB Stadium.

Said UB athletics director Allen Greene: "Though we still have work to do before shovels are in the ground, we want our alumni, fans, donors and the community to see that we are diligently and aggressively pursuing the construction of a field house on campus. We will work tirelessly to raise the funds, so that we can make this much-needed fieldhouse a reality."

"We have proven that we can be successful and build championship programs here at UB," Greene said. "An indoor practice facility is a game-changer that can propel us to levels unseen."

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