The newly opened Rice Athletics Center in the University of South Carolina Athletics Village will hold a grand opening and dedication on October 26, 2012. The beautiful, modern facility houses several Gamecock Athletics teams and departments. Watch video of the dedication and get more information on the facility here.
Check out photos of the new facility below, along with comments from several athletics department staff members working in the new building.
Kevin O'Connell, Chief Operating Officer:
"The Rice Athletics Center is a beautiful building that, along with the Dodie Academic Enrichment Center, provides a magnificent gateway into the Athletics Village. This state-of-the art structure features an abundance of natural light, tall ceilings and beautiful millwork throughout. The Architect of Record, Marc Warren, JHS, did an exceptional job in bringing our coaches and support staff together in a unique setting that allows us to work more efficiently while projecting the professionalism and commitment to excellence consistent with Gamecock Athletics. All of Gamecock Nation can take a tremendous sense of pride in this first-class facility."
Beverly Smith, Head Softball Coach:
"Being in the Rice Athletics Center is great. The fact that the entire staff is under one roof really makes the department efficient and it makes you feel part of a big team. I feel like I'm surrounded by great teammates and all different departments are available at our fingertips.
The building also gives us a huge recruiting advantage. I think that any parent of an athlete who walks through the Rice Athletics Center or through the Dodie will recognize that they will be a part of world-class facilities.
[The Athletics Village area] really is a village and the parents understand that their kids will be able to eat, go to practice, shower, study, have dinner and kids won't have to get in their car and drive around."
McGee Moody, Head Swimming & Diving Coach:
"The Rice Athletics Center is among the best in the country. It brings a sense of pride to the athletics department and gives us a home where we're all under one roof. From a swimming perspective, it allows our staff to be in one place and have access to technology that we didn't have when our offices were over at the PE building. This is definitely something that will help take our program to the next level.
It makes our operations a whole lot easier. For example, in the past if we had something to go to the business office or to compliance we had to drive across campus to get here. Everything moves much more efficiently, much more effectively and in a much quicker manner which is imperative when you talk about recruiting in the SEC. It has to be done quickly."
Josh Goffi, Head Men's Tennis Coach:
"The building is beautiful and everything about it is top-tier. Personally, the way it has benefited my program is with recruits the past three weekends. They've commented on how gorgeous it is, how modern the entire facility looks. It's definitely amped up our status in our recruiting battle and we can't be happier.
Having everyone in one space has been a dream...It makes everything seamless and has helped our efficiency. We've gotten a lot more productive.
Kalen Harris, Head Women's Golf Coach:
"The Rice Athletics Center is a tremendous upgrade and a top facility in the country. It's benefited us to have more departments under one roof. It's enhanced our efficiency and camaraderie as an athletics department."
Patrick McFarland, Executive Director of the Gamecock Club:
"The new building has made a big difference! We have the donors being able to come in and we can actually take care of them in one place. So if we have a new member they can sign up to join the Gamecock Club and they can take care of their tickets all in one stop. To put it quite frankly, it's not embarrassing to have them come into our building [compared to the Roundhouse.] We're proud when they come into the new building. It gives us a place to show all our accomplishments.
I know when we've taken donors through their jaws have just dropped. Everybody says, 'Wow, this is big time!' To be able to look in one direction and see the football stadium and that new video board that says, 'South Carolina Gamecocks,' [on the back] and to look in the other direction and see the indoor facility, the soccer field, and campus. It just makes it feel like a true on campus facility and brings the whole athletics department together."
This blogger can agree- in the past to talk to each of these people it would have taken trips to four different buildings. Now? One trip down the hall and up the stairs. We are loving the Rice Athletics Center!