Gators Receive $5 Million Gift to Aid Facility Efforts

Courtesy of UF Athletic Association

The University of Florida Athletic Association and Gator Boosters Inc. got a big boost in its Facilities Master Plan fundraising efforts, thanks to an anonymous $5 million gift as part of “Stand Up & Holler: Gator Nation Giving Day,” the University of Florida’s annual giving day event on Thursday.

“We are so thankful for this generous gift,” said Gator Boosters Executive Director Phil Pharr. “We continue to be blessed with friends of the program who are pivotal to our success in providing our student-athletes the opportunity to win championships, graduate from a top-10 institution, and have a positive impact on the world when they leave Gainesville.”

“This gift will continue to put the University of Florida athletic program in a position to rank among the best in the nation,” said Athletics Director Scott Stricklin. “The capital projects that we are currently engaged with will have an impact on staff, student-athletes, and our fans that will help us deliver the promise of a Championship Experience with integrity at the University of Florida.”

The $5 million gift is earmarked for the $85 million, 140,000-square foot James W. “Bill” Heavener Football Training Center, which will serve as the new home for Florida football. The front lower quadrant of the building is for all student-athletes, featuring the Gary D. Condron Family Dining Hall, student-athlete lounge, along with outdoor activities and amenities.

The football project is part of the third phase of the UAA’s current Facilities Master Plan following Phases 1 and 2, which included the Otis Hawkins Center at Farrior Hall, Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center and the new Florida Baseball Ballpark.

The football center is projected to break ground after the 2020 baseball season as the Gators are in the final season of McKethan Stadium at Perry Field.  Construction on the $65 million Florida Ballpark, located on Hull Road, continues with a June 2020 completion date.