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University of Maryland Begins Building Gossett Basketball Performance Center

Mon July 10, 2023 - Northeast Edition #15
Maryland Today

Head men’s basketball coach Kevin Willard and head women’s coach Brenda Frese form a temporary construction crew to break ground on the Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center, the teams’ new practice facility. (Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Terrapins photo)
Head men’s basketball coach Kevin Willard and head women’s coach Brenda Frese form a temporary construction crew to break ground on the Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center, the teams’ new practice facility. (Mackenzie Miles/Maryland Terrapins photo)

As a shot clock reached zero outside the University of Maryland's Xfinity Center on June 22, a giant banner dropped to reveal the school's two head basketball coaches taking charge, but not of their respective teams.

Instead, Brenda Frese and Kevin Willard each grinned from behind the wheels of a giant excavator, and right on cue, both dug into a mound of dirt in front of them.

Maryland Today, an online news source produced by the university, noted that the temporary construction crew's inaugural scoops, which were met by cheers and confetti, marked the official groundbreaking for the Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center, a new practice facility for the university's men's and women's basketball squads.

ESPN host and Maryland alum Scott Van Pelt emceed the event, which featured remarks from Willard, Frese, UMD President Darryll J. Pines, Barry P. Gossett Director of Athletics Damon Evans, and Gossett himself, a longtime supporter of Maryland Athletics.

In his remarks, Evans thanked Gossett for his continued support of the Terrapins as well as several other individuals who have been committed to the success of the school's athletic programs: Brooke Butler-Wagner, Billy Greenblatt, and Harvey and Ellen Sanders.

"Today is a transformational day for Maryland Athletics and specifically Maryland men's and women's basketball," Evans said. "We have storied basketball programs at the University of Maryland, and this facility will be a catalyst for future success representing the best possible environment for our student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically and socially."

The building project is being led by Clark Construction, a national firm with three offices in Maryland, along with the Gensler architectural firm serving as the design consultant.

Construction is expected to be complete prior to the fall 2025 semester.

New Center an Impetus for Other Athletics Building Projects

The 44,000-sq.-ft. facility adjacent to the Xfinity Center will create a new landmark on the northern edge of the College Park, Md., campus.

Among its features are a dedicated practice court for the Terrapins basketball teams, a strength and conditioning space, expanded locker rooms, athletic training areas with hydrotherapy, and space set aside specifically for film study and game-planning. In addition, the center's design includes large lounge areas and office space for both coaching staffs.

"This facility will help us continue to attract the best-of-the-best: the best students, the best athletes, and the best people," Frese told the assembled crowd at the construction kickoff.

Maryland Today reported that the Gossett Center also will benefit other sport programs at UMD, allowing for upgraded locker rooms, sports medicine areas and coaching spaces within the Xfinity Center as well as the expansion of programming space. Additionally, the Xfinity Center will soon have extra room to accommodate more special events, a boon to the entire campus community.

"This is one of the most important days of Maryland basketball because it's giving men's and women's basketball a place to call home — a place to eat as a family, a place to train as a family, a place to stay after practice and watch games as a family," Willard said.

The Barry P. Gossett Basketball Performance Center is one of several current and upcoming facility projects targeted at improving Maryland Athletics.

The university's new Field Hockey and Women's Lacrosse Complex will officially open in August before the new semester begins, according to Maryland Today. Other future projects include the Stanley Bobb Baseball Development Center, the Softball Player Development Center, the Golf Development Center, as well as one stadium for track and field, another for soccer, and planned renovations to Gossett Hall to house locker rooms, a weights facility, and a medical support area for a multitude of student-athletes to access.

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