A ‘transformative space’ for training and learning

April 2, 2018
The lobby of the Land O'Lakes Center for Excellence

For more than two years, Athletes Village slowly—then dramatically—took shape at the north edge of the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. And since opening in January the additions have been providing an expanded, modern home for student-athlete training, learning, and leadership.

“Opening Athletes Village is a key moment in our department’s effort to upgrade the facilities our student-athletes use to study and train each day,” said Athletic Director Mark Coyle when the new space was unveiled.

The focal point of the addition is the Land O’Lakes Center for Excellence. This multipurpose space houses new two-story homes for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. It’s also home to the John & Nancy Lindahl Academic Center, which is close to triple the size of the old academic advising space and a great tool for the top public school in the nation in student-athlete academic performance for four years running.

The building also features the top-floor Leadership Center, as well as a ground-floor nutrition center (complete with test kitchen) to serve athletes from all sports, along with other students for breakfast and lunch.

Across a new courtyard is the David and Janis Larson Football Performance Center, with a 16,000-square-foot weight room, state-of-the-art training facilities, and an 85-foot-tall indoor practice building.

Perhaps just as important, the 338,000 square feet of new space will enable existing facilities to be renovated and converted into significant upgrades for programs, including volleyball, wrestling, softball, baseball, and soccer.  

Coyle is quick to point out that the Athletes Village will be entirely paid for through private donations and athletics revenue, without tapping into tuition or taxpayer dollars.

And it’s certainly a giant leap forward for current student-athletes and potential recruits well into the future. Said Coyle: “I hope everyone who supported this project is as proud as we are to open its doors to Gopher student-athletes.”