The MTSU athletic department started a major renovation to one of its most vital facilities Monday.
The university began work on a one-month, $500,000 face lift to its weight room, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of May.
“If you look at any facility that we have on campus as far as athletics, the one place that touches every student-athlete that we have is the weight room,” MTSU strength and conditioning coach Jason Spray said. “Every single student-athlete benefits from that one facility.
“With that being said, you get a lot of wear and tear. The equipment we had held up and stood the test of time for the most part, but it’s just time.”
The renovations and improvements to MTSU’s workout gym include all new equipment (weights, racks, dumbbells, etc.), new flooring, fresh paint, new signage and graphics, a 40-yard stretch of indoor field turf, a new sound system and a nutrition bar.
The facility, which was built in 1998 when the most recent renovations to Floyd Stadium were completed, didn’t have a nutrition bar or a stretch of field turf in it. Most of the equipment in the facility was purchased when it was built 17 years ago.
It is the first time it has been overhauled.
“I’ve been wanting to do this for a long, long time,” said Spray, a Murfreesboro native who played for MTSU from 1999 to 2001 and has been on staff with the university since 2005.
“I’m just so happy that now we actually have an ability to do it. It’s just time. It’s 2015 and it’s just time to make that jump. ... We waited for spring (football) practice to get over and we wanted to make sure that this was being done during exams and during the dead period of May. That way, none of the athletes are put out of pocket in trying to get ready for the season.”
Monday’s work began with fresh paint. The new floors will be installed later this week followed by the delivery and installation of the new equipment beginning May 4.
The new sound system has already been installed, according to Kortne Gosha, MTSU’s associate athletic director for equipment and facilities.
The new graphics and signage are scheduled for May 14-15, with the nutrition bar set to be installed around May 18-20.
Finishing touches on the project, which include outdoor landscaping around the building, which is at the north end of Floyd Stadium, are scheduled for the end of May.
“Hopefully by the end of May, this project will be completed,” said Associate Athletic Director for Development Keith McCluney, who was in charge of fundraising for the renovations. “By the time the athletes are coming back for summer school, we’ll be open and ready to go for summer workouts.”
McCluney, who was hired in August and is in charge of the Blue Raider Athletic Association, said the entire cost of the project — approximately $497,000 — is being funded by donations from the school’s donor base.
This is the first project McCluney has been a part of from inception to construction since joining the department.
“All of (the cost) is covered through donations,” McCluney said. “It was a big deal. ... It shows that people want to see us get better and to do what we’ve got to do to get better. We’ve got to put a plan in front of them, something that’s well thought out, and if we give them that plan, they’ll follow. They’ve showed that.
“This is a direct return on their investment, too, because all of our student-athletes will benefit from it, which will help us continue to build the championship programs our fans want.”
Contact Will Borthick at 615-278-5167. Follow him on Twitter @willborthick.
WEIGHT ROOM RENOVATION
Who pays: 100 percent from MTSU donors
What improvements: New equipment, new flooring, fresh paint, new signage and graphics, 40-yard stretch of indoor field turf, new sound system, nutrition bar
Quoteable: “Every single student athlete benefits from that one facility.”