Georgia State’s Master Plan is out

An image of the new Sports Arena.

An image of the new Sports Arena.

Georgia State unveiled its $80 million facilities master plan today on its website with the purpose of providing its 19 varsity programs the best places to play and the best experience for fans, according to athletic director Cheryl Levick.

The cost to complete the plans, which include a renovation of the Sports Arena and new stadiums for baseball, softball, soccer and both volleyball teams, is expected to rise.

Money and land, which isn’t included in the cost, are the two biggest obstacles to completion.

Georgia State would like the stadiums to be as close to downtown as possible. Panthersville, where many of the outdoor sports play, is 15 miles from campus.

Finding suitable land at a price that doesn’t exceed the state-mandated appraised value, is the next step in the process.

Paying for the projects will come from different sources, but Georgia State would prefer to pay for it through donations. James Greenwell, executive senior associate athletics director, said he doesn’t foresee increasing student fees or ticket prices to cover the costs.

The presentation includes videos and descriptions of each new stadium, along with a message from Levick:

“This…is a blue print for long-term growth and success for Georgia State athletics,” she says.

The following is a question-and-answer with information from Greenwell, from the video that covers the facilities plan and other reporting.

A view of the outside of the proposed Sports Arena.

A view of the outside of the proposed Sports Arena.

Q: How long has this plan been in the works?

A: The process took 18 months. Georgia State began working with consultants in the summer of 2010 and finished the winter of 2011.

Q: Is there a timetable for completion?

A: No. Georgia State is calling it a long-term master plan. If funding comes in the next 3-5 years, Greenwell said they can get it all done. But it’s completely contingent on funding.

Q: Is there a fund-raising campaign tied to the Master Plan? If not, will there be and when?

A: There is a campaign, but the structure of the campaign isn’t complete. Georgia State is working with the university.

Q: What are the goals related to choosing the locations of the new downtown facilities? Walking distance for students, etc.?

A: Georgia State wants the facilities to be built in the downtown area, as close to campus as possible. They have looked at different pieces of land, but there has been no movement.

Q: If Georgia State were to find a 15-acre plot, does it have the finances to purchase?

A: No. However, Greenwell said if Georgia State began negotiations, it would go out and aggressively seek help from supporters.

Q: Has the Sun Belt put any type of time line on any upgrades?

A: No.

Q: Is Georgia State seeking land to match the facilities plans, or is it open to modifying the plans to match available land?

A: Greenwell said Georgia State will be flexible enough to fit the plans to the best property it can find.

Q: Other than money, what is the biggest hurdle to getting this done?

A: Any large projects have to be approved by the Board of Regents. It’s a normal approval process for any state school to go through to build something. It would be unusual for Georgia State to present its plan, complete with funding, and to be turned down.

Q: Is Georgia State considering using bonds, similar to what Georgia Tech did for McCamish Pavilion, if it can get a sizable donation as a downpayment?

A: Greenwell said Georgia State has not had that discussion. He said it’s something he imagines they will discuss if it becomes appropriate.

Q: If the annual donations remain at the level reported yesterday ($800,000), can any of these projects be completed?

A: Greenwell said the master plan has been constructed so that they can do certain renovations to the Sports Arena or the sand volleyball with a small amount of funding. However, he said it’s difficult to start anything related to Panthersville with just a few hundred thousand dollars. He points out that land can’t be bought for $300,000.

Q: Will this be entirely finance through donations?

A: Georgia State will consider all of its revenue streams: ticket sales and corportate sponsorships, for example. It sets aside a certain amount of our budget every year for projects.

Q: What happens if the Falcons get a new stadium? Has GSU been included with the GWCC plan for the new stadium?

A: Greenwell said they are certainly talking internally and have been in conversations with the Dome and GWCC about what the plans are. He said they haven’t had heard anything to date that would jeopardize Georgia State playing in the Dome.

Q: Is Georgia State prioritizing what can be done?

A: Greenwell said they will prioritize based upon what they have the money to do combined with impact of the renovation. An arena renovation, for example, is complex because it’s a shell game in terms of construction and moving people.

Q: If someone gave $20 million tomorrow, what’s the first project that would be tackled?

A: Greenwell said that’s a question for Levick or GSU President Dr. Mark Becker.

– Doug Roberson, AJC. Please follow me on twitter @ajcgsu

41 comments Add your comment

Cheryl Levick, Vampire Hunter

May 31st, 2012
1:26 pm

Will the trolls be SMART enough to… go F themselves??? LOL

Panther Princess

May 31st, 2012
1:39 pm

Sharing
My
Anal
Retentive
Thoughts

GSUdpb

May 31st, 2012
1:40 pm

He hasn’t heard heard anything to date that would jeopardize Georgia State playing in the Dome. Really? I heard the Dome won’t be there which makes it really tough to play in.

Jee S. You

May 31st, 2012
1:46 pm

Thanks for asking our questions Doug. Sounds like we are in “hurry up and wait” mode. When he says it was finished winter of 2011, does he mean this past winter of the year before? The cost estimate is from January 2011.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 31st, 2012
1:58 pm

Look at the MARTA train stations and I am sure there is some HOOD land right next to a station that GaState can get cheap to build on.

Sluggo

May 31st, 2012
1:58 pm

Thanks Doug!

A person SMART enough to know......

May 31st, 2012
2:00 pm

Just pitch in with Morris Brown or Clark Atlanta to build joint facilities. Nobody would know the difference.

Cheryl Levick, Vampire Hunter

May 31st, 2012
2:05 pm

Someone get Old Wheat Street on the phone. And Big Bethel too.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 31st, 2012
2:17 pm

What about the Jail next to the Court House? I thought it was going to be shut down.

Taleeshq

May 31st, 2012
2:41 pm

Put it where Underground Atlanta is now.

No one would miss that thug invested place.

Cheryl Levick, Vampire Hunter

May 31st, 2012
2:51 pm

I suppose the “thugs” didn’t “invest” enough, LOL. Moron.

juvenal

May 31st, 2012
3:04 pm

economy as a hole plays a role…….wish Tech would get soccer, but would be happy to watch at KSU……go Gunners!

Truth

May 31st, 2012
3:08 pm

The trolls are feeling bold again for some reason. I guess the news at The Georgia-Anne is slow today. Lol, clowns!

Donor

May 31st, 2012
3:27 pm

Wow, so not only is the troll a techie but she is also a racist. Move on loser.

Pantherfan93

May 31st, 2012
3:31 pm

I don’t think Tech. Since it refers to GSU at GaState, I am thinking Georgia Southern.

Pantherfan93

May 31st, 2012
3:33 pm

*GSU as GaState…

Moobs Johnson

May 31st, 2012
3:57 pm

Seems like an ambitious plan for a junior college.

Cheryl Levick, Vampire Hunter

May 31st, 2012
4:24 pm

Doug, you should have pressed harder on the Georgia Dome answer. Everyone knows GWCC plans to tear it down.

Doug Roberson

May 31st, 2012
5:01 pm

I’m aware of that. James is aware of that. I believe he meant until then, there is no issue.

[...] The plan has been in the works since 2010 but wasn’t finalized till the end of last year, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

STATEment

May 31st, 2012
5:46 pm

Can we get this on the front page! At least the front of the sports page with some pics!!!! I LOVE WHAT I SEE!

BariBlue

May 31st, 2012
6:38 pm

The plan looks amazing. Thanks for the coverage, Doug.

hammer22

May 31st, 2012
6:47 pm

Basketball arena is pretty nice.

A person SMART enough to know......

May 31st, 2012
7:05 pm

Pretty pictures of places in OUTER SPACE I guess.

RidgeRunner

May 31st, 2012
8:24 pm

Thanks for getting answers

Cheryl Levick, Vampire Hunter

May 31st, 2012
10:14 pm

The real concern is what happens after the new stadium is built ;-) Ask about that next interview, please.

GSU_Tang

May 31st, 2012
10:41 pm

Buzzy

May 31st, 2012
11:19 pm

I love that it says CAA on the court… peace GA State

Doug Roberson

June 1st, 2012
8:47 am

I noticed the CAA last night. Remember when this was started to be put together GSU was still in the CAA

Howdy Doody

June 1st, 2012
9:06 am

I mean my God, how hard is it to replace the logos? Would have been a great way to communicate new conference, but oh well. If anyone believes that this is a MASTER PLAN they are fools. If someone walked in tomorrow with a $20 Million check, we don’t even know what we would do with it? A real MASTER PLAN has phases and detailed documents. BTW, if we have been showing sponsors and donors this for a while, it scares me that we aren’t announcing any of them with this release. THAT MEANS LIKELY THERE ARE NONE. We can’t even build the Locker Rooms that were promised to Coach Hunter.

RidgeRunner

June 1st, 2012
10:44 am

Howdy, get a grip.

Sluggo

June 1st, 2012
10:48 am

As bad as everybody makes it seem, I would much rather be in our position than any other team in GA sans UGA and Tech. We’re one of the big three and will find a way to get it done. Either ADCL will make this happen or she’ll be replaced by someone who can.

So keep feeding the trolls fodder. After all, they are fixated on everything GSU!

GSTATE1

June 1st, 2012
11:03 am

Good stuff! Thanks for the story Doug. Great news for the school!

GSUAlumBaseball81

June 1st, 2012
12:28 pm

Thanks Doug, How about them PANTHERS!!!!! Troll on fools!!! lol

Howdy Doody

June 1st, 2012
12:38 pm

RidgeRunner,

I have a grip….on reality. Smoke and mirrors. All we need is: LAND and MONEY. LMAO.

Howdy Doody

June 1st, 2012
12:40 pm

Doug,

You should start charging Athletics for being their PR department.

Atlanta Mafia

June 1st, 2012
12:46 pm

Looks like another month has passed and Georgia Southern is still in the FCS without a plan.
I guess that losers will always be losers. But they can still enjoy the smell of cow pasture and passing STDs in the back of pickup trucks.

Argentina Blue

June 1st, 2012
2:39 pm

I wonder how much money Georgia State threw-away paying “consultants” for this absurdity. A 15-acre tract located near downtown! A total project cost “valued” (please tell me a Robinson graduate didn’t write that) at $80 milllion…without any timeline for completion! A “plan” almost if not totally dependent on donations. And conspicuously absent is any real ideas of where the football team (assuming the program isn’t eventually jettisoned) is going to play if the Dome becomes unavailable for whatever reason.

Dejay

June 1st, 2012
4:35 pm

Well, the new facilities look great to me, especially considering what GSU has had to deal with in terms of having to play at Panthersville for years, not to mention the much-needed facelift/open-heart surgery to the Abominable Arena. Just got paid so they just got a pledge from me…

Alum

June 1st, 2012
9:28 pm

AWESOME PLAN!! Making donation Monday. Panther up bictches……

Alec Baldwin

June 6th, 2012
11:22 pm

so is James going to directly answer any questions? Seems like a lot of smoke and mirrors. Then again, that’s par for the course at 125 Decatur.