Kiffin could either include a new indoor practice facility as part of the first phase of the Schmidt athletic center complex or stick with the academic and training center.
“Lane said, I’m not as interested in the indoor as I am in this,” Kelly said, pointing to the architect’s rendering of the new academic center. “I said, OK, you’d rather have the academic side? He said, That sells to me better. You talk about me missing 10 practices a year? I’ll go inside to handle that. Build me this.”
FAU began construction on the $50 million complex in January by renovating the locker rooms and the training facilities underneath the west stands. The school intends to have that portion of the project completed by the summer.
Kelly said Kiffin believes the new locker rooms, training facilities that include hydroponic pools, class rooms and dining facilities will attract higher quality players.
“That’s what will recruit students to FAU, not the fact that it’s going to be lightning some days and we’re going to have to stay inside until the lightning stops,” Kelly said.
Drawings for the complex, which flanked new athletic director Brian White during his introductory press conference, were created by HKS Architects.
Also included in the renovation plans is a new home for the FAU Sports MBA program, which will reside adjacent to the stadium.
FAU is still raising money for the complex. The indoor practice facility remains part of Phase 2 of the project. There is no time table for its completion.