The Rice University Board of Trustees has approved a proposal to build a student-athlete performance and development building in the north end of Rice Stadium that will provide new all-sport strength-and-conditioning, sports medicine and football facilities for the Rice Owls.
The $31.5 million project includes a 60,000-square-foot, two-story structure that will house a weight room, a home team locker room, coaching and staff offices, an auditorium, a football team lounge and areas for training and sports medicine that include hydrotherapy, plunge pools and exam rooms. The weight room and sports medicine areas will be available to student-athletes from all sports at Rice.
“While this new addition to Rice Stadium will improve aspects of the fan experience, it is first and foremost, as it should be, an investment for the benefit of our extraordinary student-athletes,” Rice President David Leebron said. “We are committed to the success of our students on the field, off the field and in their professional lives. Over the last several years we have invested in the facilities for many of our sports teams – basketball, volleyball, swimming and tennis. This investment in football comes at a historic moment as our team heads to Hawaii for Rice’s first-ever third consecutive bowl game. We are grateful to Brian Patterson and many others who have made this exciting new facility possible.”
Rice alumnus Brian Patterson provided the naming gift for the facility.
“We’re very grateful to Brian for his generosity,” said Rice Athletics Director Joe Karlgaard. “His naming gift, along with a substantial anonymous gift and additional support from other Rice lettermen and football fans, played an important role in the board’s approval to move ahead with the project. I am so thrilled for our student-athletes and coaches. We are committed to playing college football at the highest level within the amateur model, and we believe this will be the first in a series of upgrades to our stadium.”
When asked what motivated him to make the gift, Patterson recalled his experience at Rice. “In 1980, Carlos Maynard, a Rice football coach, asked me to walk on and promised a full scholarship if I played well,” Patterson said. “Two weeks into three-a-days, head coach Ray Alborn pulled me into his office and told me that they would not only give me a full scholarship, but they would also return my tuition for the first semester, which I had spent nearly my last nickel paying. I could hardly believe it. That kind of integrity permeates everything in and around Rice University.”