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Focus On Facilities: Under watch of Radakovich, upgrades frequent

Oct. 11, 2009

by Matt Winkeljohn
Managing Editor
OSR Sting EXTRA

ATLANTA – Dan Radakovich is roughly halfway through his fourth year at Georgia Tech, and under his leadership the Athletic Association has made considerable changes in fund-raising methods, built a new award-winning, on-campus softball stadium, a basketball practice facility, and made significant upgrades to Bobby Dodd Stadium and more.

He recently spent nearly an hour speaking with Sting Extra OSR about a variety of issues. This is the second part of several question-and-answer sessions that will appear in upcoming issues.

Q: Georgia Tech has been busy improving athletic facilities since your arrival less than four years ago, including the aforementioned work. What, if anything, is next?

A: In terms of facility improvement, there’s one out there that really needs to be improved and that’s the [Alexander Memorial] Coliseum. That would be next on the agenda, and because of the very generous gift of the Henry F. McCamish Jr. family, later this month there will be the unveiling of the McCamish Basketball Complex.

It will be noted by a plaza [under construction] at the corner of 10th and Fowler. All of the current buildings — Alexander Memorial Coliseum, the Luck building and the Zelnak Basketball Center [the practice facility] — will be part of the McCamish Basketball Complex.

The Institute and the athletic department have undergone and will continue to study renovation possibilities for the Coliseum. Hopefully, within six to eight months we will have an understanding of what’s possible, and what we can do within our financial umbrella to rejuvenate the Coliseum and make it into a 21st century basketball arena.

Q: How extensive a renovation is Tech considering in AMC?

A: I think the one view that keeps coming back is if you stood at mid-court in the current arena, and stood at mid-court in the renovated, reconstructed Coliseum, you would think you were in two different buildings.

Amenity-wise, convenience-wise, those are all very, very high on the list of things that we want to have happen. All the things that make the fan experience better are the things that we want to do inside the Coliseum.

Q: Will Coliseum renovations include increased seating capacity?

A: We’re very happy staying where we are (capacity of 9,191). This is not something where we’re going to look to add capacity. We think that in the market that we’re in, the ability to have some demand for our product is very, very positive.

Q: Any thought being given to adding another sport, or sports, at Tech?

A: You talk about the addition of sports, and you’re right we have some challenges as we move forward from a space standpoint here on campus to be able to add any sports. One of the things we hope to do under president [Bud] Peterson’s leadership is look at a strategic plan for the entire Institute. What do we want this place to look like in the next 20 to 25 years?

Right in line with that is athletics, what do we want to look like not in the next five years, but in the next 10, 15 or 20? We may start a process ourselves, do some strategic planning, and see what are the sports that are possibilities.

Matt Winkeljohn is Managing Editor of Sting Extra OSR. Feel free to offer comments or story suggestions at gtstingx@gmail.com.

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