LSU continues to examine the possibility of having its athletic nutrition center included in the scheduled expansion to the football operations building.
The athletic department is “aggressively” exploring the idea, said Eddie Nunez, the school’s deputy director of athletics overseeing projects. This is something athletic director Joe Alleva mentioned in February.
The nutrition center, an athlete-only, glorified dining hall, would be one of several additions to the operations facility during a facelift of the 12-year-old building that could begin as early as after this football season. The renovation to the building, reported on a year ago, is the second of a two-phase plan to spruce up a facility that’s slipped, in some respects, behind some similar structures at other Southeastern Conference programs. The first phase, remodeling the weight room, was completed last summer.
The team’s locker room, training room and second-floor coaches’ offices are scheduled to be expanded and renovated. Officials are studying whether a nutrition center can be added to the building, too.
The “biggest concern” for administrators is the logistics of relocating the coaches and players during renovations, Nunez said. Fundraising for the project is on-going.
The nutrition center has been a talked-about project for more than two years. It's had three potential locations.
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Construction on a standalone, 22,500-square foot center on Skip Bertman Drive was scheduled to begin last April. Those plans were scrapped last summer amid proposed state budget cuts.
Officials then planned to house the center in a vacant floor of the south end zone addition to Tiger Stadium. That is still a possibility, Nunez said. LSU has raised at least $12 million for the project, the original cost of the standalone structure.
LSU set for new concession partnership
LSU is beginning a partnership with a new company to operate its athletic concessions.
The school is entering into a 10-year contract with Aramark Sports, according to the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the LSU Board of Supervisors. The deal must be approved Friday by supervisors.
Compass has operated LSU’s concessions since 2002. The school is not extending its contract with the company. It ends June 30.
Aramark, a Philadelphia-based company, agrees to pay LSU a minimum commission guarantee of $2.4 million per year. The commission guarantee will only be paid to LSU in years that the percentage of gross receipts from all concession sales paid to the athletics department does not exceed $2.4 million.
The company will also make a $1.6 million investment for improvements to the food service facilities and concessions — presumably part of LSU’s plan to renovate bathrooms and concessions in Tiger Stadium. Aramark will also provide $1.5 million as a commission advance for the upcoming year.
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Track to be resurfaced
LSU plans to resurface the track at the Bernie Moore Track Stadium with approval of the LSU Board of Supervisors, according to the agenda.
The cost of the new track will be no more than $1.4 million, the agenda says. Mondo, the manufacturer of the current track installed in 2010, is removing and resurfacing the track at a “heavy discount,” according to the board agenda. The discount has been offered in light of problems that have arisen with the current surface.
The Tiger Athletic Foundation will fund the project. LSU has agreed to drop any claims against Mondo involving the current track issues.