STILLWATER — The final piece of the puzzle is on the way.
Construction of the Sherman E. Smith Training Center will begin on Aug. 1, Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder announced on Tuesday. The Cowboys’ indoor practice facility will cost approximately $16 million to complete.
The center could take 18 months to complete, with a goal of completion in late 2012 or early 2013.
OSU already has begun construction of three new practice fields, one artificial turf and two natural grass, which will cost roughly $3 million. The indoor facility and practice fields will be located just north of Boone Pickens Stadium.
With the West End Zone at Boone Pickens Stadium, the Cowboys’ football program features facilities that have been lauded as among the nation’s best, but OSU does not currently have an indoor practice facility. Several Big 12 rivals, including Texas A&M, Texas and Oklahoma, currently have indoor facilities they can sell to recruits during their head-to-head battles with the Pokes.
The construction of the Smith Center will provide the final puzzle, giving OSU football facilities that are comparable with any football program in the nation.
The facility will offer the Pokes refuge during cold winter practices or hot summer workouts and will be available for use by all of OSU’s athletic teams. It will feature an Olympic soccer-sized field with a ceiling that reaches 65 feet, which should allow kicking and punting within the building.