UW Will Build Basketball Practice Facility by 2023

Dan Raley

University of Washington's men's and women's basketball programs, both mired in  disappointing seasons caused by tenuous losing streaks, finally got some good news.

On Thursday, the school announced ambitious plans to build a new basketball training and operations facility on the site holding the school's unused swimming pool connected to Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

The UW also will renovate the weight room and Husky Legends Center in the nearby Graves Annex in a collective $60 million construction project funded in its entirety with athletic department donations. The school's board of regents approved the plans. 

Construction begins next year and the facilities are scheduled for completion in 2023, which means among the current basketball players only the freshmen stand to benefit from them.

"The basketball training and operations facility will provide our teams with much-needed practice and community spaces," UW athletic director Jennifer Cohen said in a prepared statement, "and is an important investment in the future success of both programs,"

The men's team was 12-12 and dealing with a six-game losing streak entering Thursday night's game at USC, while the women, who recently ended a 9-game losing streak, are 11-12.

Cohen said $53 million has been committed to the project and fund-raising efforts would raise the remainder. 

The new basketball facilities will fill at least a 60,000-square-foot building that has state-of-the art practice courts, locker rooms, recruiting lounges, film rooms and a porch area that celebrates the history of each program. 

The health center will offer weight training and conditioning, nutrition, mental health, athletic training and medical services. The 14,000-square-foot facility will cater to more than 500 athletes. 

The UW basketball teams will continue to play their home games at Alaska Airlines Arena. 

"This is an exciting development for the growth of our basketball program," Huskies men's coach Mike Hopkins said. "We are very thankful for those who believe in what we're doing and are helping us continue to grow."