From a building standpoint, FAU enjoyed a strong past 12 months.
Barely more than a pimple on FAU’s landscape a year ago, the Schmidt Complex is rising at a surprising rate. Housing a gargantuan weight room, football offices, theater-like meeting rooms, training facilities and classrooms, the entirety of the Schmidt Complex remains on track for completion before the end of the calendar year.
“I think this facility will be on par with some of the better facilities in the country,” FAU athletic director Brian White said. “It’s really exciting. I think it’s a great example of the growth that not only the athletic department is experiencing but also the university.”
FAU reached one milestone of the Schmidt Complex’s construction in time for the start of the football season, revamping the football locker room within Howard Schnellenberger Field and expanding the training rooms. The state-of-the-art aquatic therapy room is now also functional.
The Owls expect football to completely move from their current Oxley Center home to the Schmidt Complex during winter break, and spring practices will be conducted on the new practice fields at the complex.
The Schmidt Complex’s continued progress alone would have been enough to qualify for the Top 10. But last week FAU’s Board of Trustees approved a $3 million gift from the Abessinio Foundation to go toward renovations of its basketball arena.
While FAU is still determining how the grant will be applied, the Owls are looking to renovate and update their locker rooms, potentially add video boards, and create other updates that enhance the fan experience.
What We Wrote About The Schmidt Athletic Complex
- Schmidt Complex Renovations Expected To Be Complete
- Football Stadium Ready For Home Opener
- FAU Completes Football Locker Room Renovations
- Burrow Benefactor
Why The FAU Facility Upgrades Are Important
While Howard Schnellenberger Field is a jewel of a stadium, the remainder of FAU’s facilities lag behind most of their C-USA competitors. That won’t be the case much longer.
The Schmidt Complex is huge, both physically and influentially. It will attract athletes. The weight room alone is about eight times bigger than the current one.
Still, this story was set to launch our Top 10 countdown until FAU secured the gift to renovate The Burrow.
“There is a lot of momentum involved,” White said. “It’s building relationships. For Rocco and Mary [Abessinio] to step up and be as generous as they were, it’s a good sign for the future.”
Yes, the Owls are still looking to upgrade the baseball stadium. And at this point the Owls aren’t focused on making the indoor practice facility a reality, but the current fundraising momentum does provide hope.
“Under Dr. Kelly’s vision of unbridled ambition there’s been a whole lot of growth and there’s a ton of momentum,” White said. “It’s really exciting.”
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