The Wolverine

November 2012

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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The "Walk of Champions," a brick walkway running through Michigan's athletic campus, is one of many potential projects portrayed on a website produced by the University of Michigan Athletic Department. The depart- ment is raising funds for future renovations, with all projects subject to approval by the University's Board of Regents. IMAGE COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT Michigan Eyes Grand Plan U-M Seeks $250 Million To Make Its Facility Dreams Come True ichigan's athletic depart- ment has already demon- strated in dramatic fash- ion its "Leaders and Best" emphasis when it comes to the field of play. A quick look around Michigan Sta- dium, Crisler Center, Yost Ice Arena, the Wilpon Complex for baseball and softball, and a number of other venues confirms U-M's readiness to compete. Athletics director Dave Brandon and his team stzill have a message: the job isn't done. It's not even close. M BY JOHN BORTON partment officials are trying to climb their own Everest — raising $250 mil- lion to make the illustrations reality. The Board of Regents makes the call on each individual project, from initial approval, to design, to funding and execution. Because of the scope of this project, though, that body was included in a bigger-picture vision of what the athletic campus might eventually entail. That's why Michigan's athletic de- velopment office, with the permis- sion of the schools' Board of Regents, produced a website depicting dreams for the future. That's why athletic de- While any individual athletic site development still requires the board approval process, the Regents saw enough to like in the big picture to al- low Michigan officials to share their dreams with potential donors. "We need investment," Brandon said. "We need to be competitive. For about a year and a half, we've been working on a plan that affords us the ability to position these facili- ties where they need to be, thinking about challenges like parking and accessibility for our student-athletes to strength-and-conditioning sup- port and athletic training and medi- cal support." has been accomplished. Like Brady Hoke after a significant victory, though, he's looking ahead to the next improvement. "We've done a great job with some of our facilities. They are as good as anything in the country," Bran- don said. "But then we've got other sports and teams that are practicing and/or competing in facilities that are way below average. We're trying to take a very big-picture view, be- cause this will be a program that will take several years to raise the money, get the necessary approvals and con- struct or renovate the buildings. "We know that, but every journey starts somewhere. That's where we are today. The Board of Regents will certainly be approving each one of these projects as they're brought for- ward, but the Board has already seen the master plan, in terms of having a sense for our vision. They've been very supportive. "We're out talking to donors and Brandon clearly recognizes what NOVEMBER 2012 THE WOLVERINE 45

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