By Chuck Pool
Work is set to commence on a series of renovations to the back section of Tudor Fieldhouse that will create dedicated men’s and women’s locker rooms and team lounges for Rice’s golf, soccer, track and field and cross-country teams as well as additional space for future enhancements.
The $4 million project, funded by private donations and support from the university, will transform 13,000 square feet of the former recreation center at Tudor in addition to swimming pool area, which served as the home of Rice Swimming for 58 years but has been idle since the opening of the Rice Aquatics Center in 2009.
“This latest renovation to our facilities is another example of our continuing commitment to each of our more than 350 student-athletes to build a championship environment,” Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard said.
The pool area will be repurposed into a two-story space with the ground floor consisting of locker rooms, team lounges and a meeting area while the second level will be earmarked for additional renovations at a later date.
In addition, several of the old recreation center racquetball courts will be repurposed and the former men’s recreation locker room will be modified to create access to the renovated areas from the front of the Tudor Fieldhouse complex.
When completed this summer, the renovated area will create a south entrance to Tudor as well as provide the Owls’ soccer and track programs immediate access to Wendel D. Ley Track and Holloway Field for training and competition.
The project was designed by the firm of Jackson & Ryan Architects with construction work handled by Tellepsen and is slated to be completed in time for the start of the 2017-18 athletic season this fall.
Since the renovation of Tudor Fieldhouse, which opened its doors in the fall of 2008, Rice has committed more than $100 million to renovations and new facilities, including opening the Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation & Wellness Center (2009), the George R. Brown Tennis Center (2014), the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center (2016) as well as a new grandstand, press box and team rooms at Wendel D. Ley Track (2016), a new sports medicine area at Reckling Park (2016) and a new AstroTurf playing surface at Rice Stadium (2014). These projects have directly benefited each of the Owls’ 16 intercollegiate athletic teams.