The University announced on Tuesday that the long-awaited Basketball Development Center is ready to break ground. Thanks to a major gift from Mark and Rosalind Shenkman -- who are the namesakes of the football's team Shenkman Training Center -- the UConn Foundation is now tasked with securing financing for the $32 million center. With the Shenkmans donation, UConn has $24 million pledged to the center. Shenkman, who sits on the UConn Foundation board -- the private fundraising arm of the university -- donated $2 million towards the construction of the facility.
The development center is adjacent to Gampel Pavilion at the site of Memorial Stadium, which was demolished in the spring. Here's the official release from UConn:
UConn Athletic Communications – October 16, 2012 – Construction To Begin On UConn Basketball Development Center
Donors Contribute $24 Million for New Basketball Center at UConn
UConn Foundation to Secure Financing to Begin Construction Thanks to a Major Gift from Mark and Rosalind Shenkman.
STORRS, Conn. (October 16, 2012) -- Donors to the University of Connecticut have made it possible to begin construction of a major new basketball facility on the campus, adjacent to Gampel Pavilion.
The University of Connecticut Foundation announced on Tuesday that it has donations and pledges in hand for 75 percent of the construction cost of the UConn Basketball Development Center–$24 million of the $32 million needed–and will obtain financing for the project so construction can begin as soon as possible. Completion is expected to take about 24 months.
“UConn is fortunate to have many strong supporters across the nation, who have dedicated themselves to the academic advancement of the university, the research ambitions of our faculty and students, as well as athletics,” said UConn President Susan Herbst. “As we continue to build and renovate so many facilities on our multiple campuses, an outstanding new home is needed for our championship men’s and women’s basketball programs.”
Most recently, alumnus Mark Shenkman and his wife, Rosalind, committed $2 million to the facility. Mr. Shenkman is the chair of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors and previously made a $2.5 million gift to name the athletic training and student recreational facility that bears his name on the Storrs campus.
“Rosalind and I feel very blessed to be able to make this gift to the University of Connecticut. This gift represents an investment in the future of UConn basketball,” said Shenkman. “After recently visiting the practice facilities at other institutions, I realized the importance that a practice facility can have in conveying the strength of a program. The completion of this basketball practice facility will certainly perpetuate UConn’s preeminent position as one of America’s college basketball capitals.”
"The success of our men’s and women’s basketball student-athletes, in both the classroom and on the court, will be greatly enhanced by the UConn Basketball Development Center,” said UConn Director of Athletics Warde Manuel. “I want to thank Mark and Rosalind Shenkman and all of our benefactors whose generosity are allowing us to begin construction of this project. We will continue to fund raise to obtain the entire cost of the project.”
The UConn Basketball Development Center is one of the projects supported through the ambitious Our University. Our Moment. fundraising campaign launched publicly in September 2009 by the UConn Foundation. So far, $348.8 million of the $600 million campaign goal has been raised.
ABOUT THE UCONN FOUNDATIONThe University of Connecticut Foundation, Inc.'s mission is to solicit, receive, and administer gifts and financial resources from private sources for the benefit of all campuses and programs of the University of Connecticut. The Foundation operates exclusively to promote the educational, scientific, cultural, and recreational objectives of the University. For more information, please visit www.foundation.uconn.edu.