Sherman E. Smith Training Center
The Sherman E. Smith Training Center is a planned on-campus athletic training facility to be built on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Center is expected to be one of the crown jewels of the envisioned "athletic village" on the north side of the Oklahoma State campus. The Center is also expected to be the finest indoor practice facility in the United States, on both the collegiate and professional levels.
The facility is named after Oklahoma State alumnus Sherman Smith, whose father founded Service Drilling Company of Tulsa and friend and former business partner of T. Boone Pickens. Smith donated $20 million to the Oklahoma State University athletics department to endow the maintenance and general upkeep of the facility. It is believed that the construction costs for the Training Center will be at least partially financed through the funds donated by Boone Pickens in early 2006.
Plans for the estimated $50-million Training Center were publicly unveiled January 11, 2007 in Stillwater at a press conference held by athletics director Mike Holder. Designs indicate that the Training Center will be capable of allowing indoor practices for several sports, including football, soccer, baseball, softball, and track & field. Three additional football practice fields will be constructed directly north of the Training Center, likely with different playing surfaces to simulate the home turf of football stadiums the Cowboys may visit. The Smith Training Center will be built north of Hall of Fame Avenue, directly across from Boone Pickens Stadium, which is currently undergoing its own massive renovation and expansion project.
Not wanting a simple inflatable practice "bubble" or a stark and sterile facility more resembling an aircraft hangar than a building on a major university campus, Oklahoma State officials wanted a modern training facility that's as aesthetically pleasing as it is functional. The Center will blend seamlessly with Boone Pickens Stadium, Gallagher-Iba Arena, and the rest of the OSU campus with its modified Georgian architecture.
The projected area of 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2) would make the Center larger by far than any current facility of its kind in the Big 12 Conference, eclipsing the current mark of 92,000 square feet (8,500 m2) held by Iowa State University's Bergstrom Indoor Practice Facility. The Center's expansive area will be large enough for an indoor playing surface large enough to accommodate regulation football and soccer fields. The $50 million price tag will also make it one of the most expensive facilities in the conference. Additionally, Nebraska has a $50 million Hawks Championship Center that is 81,200 square feet (7,540 m2). Another indoor facility designed specifically for the Oklahoma State track and field program is expected to be built in the coming years.
- Oklahoma State University Athletics site
- Sherman E. Smith Training Center announcement
- Sherman E. Smith Training Center Renderings Gallery