ATHENS - The UGA athletic board will discuss building the football team an indoor practice facility, but that doesn't mean ground will be broken anytime soon, assuming it's approved.
Athletics director Greg McGarity said he will raise the possibility of building one at the Sept. 20 board meeting. He did not indicate that a firm proposal would be on the table, rather a discussion on whether and how to proceed.
The rough estimate is that a facility would cost around $15 million.
"The bottom line is you have to have funding in place to even start the process," McGarity said Tuesday. "There are a lot of things we'll have to discuss. But there are certain baby steps that you have to take to begin the process. That's why we with our board with just talk about it a little bit."
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McGarity said there are no renderings of a facility, nor a chosen location. He also hasn't had an in-depth discussion with UGA president Jere Morehead about it, only discussing it "in concept," according to McGarity.
"There are so many things to cover," McGarity said. "There are a lot of moving pieces to this, because this is a huge facility - in space and in dollars."
The football team's lack of a full-length indoor facility has long been a cause celebre' among Georgia fans and the coaching staff. Last year the Bulldogs had to bus to the Atlanta Falcons' indoor facility when it rained in the week leading up to the Georgia Tech game.
McGarity said he has apprised head coach Mark Richt of his intentions for the board meeting.
"We talk about it frequently. It comes up often," McGarity said. "I've told coach we would talk to our board about it and we would discuss it further and go from there."
If the board does vote to get the ball officially rolling, there would still be plenty of other logistics to decide: The location being the major one, and whether to dip into the school's reserve fund or fundraise for it. UGA took a mix of the two options on its most recent big project, the renovations to Foley Field: Once $5 million was raised privately, the school chipped in the remainder for the project, which came in at around $12 million.
The football team's facility won't be the only facility item to be discussed. McGarity listed an equestrian facility and improvements to the tennis facility.
But the football building is the one sure to get the most attention.
"It's always been on our project sheet," McGarity said. "We basically have priorities on that sheet. Some move up quicker than others. But I think it's time to have that discussion."