Barnhart: Practice facility fundraising is going well

No formal design plans are available yet, but in a recent interview, Mitch Barnhart said he was pleased with how Kentucky’s new football practice facility is coming along.

Without releasing the amount already raised for the privately financed $46 million facility that will be adjacent to the Nutter Indoor Training Center, the UK athletics director said: “We’re doing OK. We’re doing fine.”

“We’ve got probably 10 folks that we’ve just visited with in the last 2 to 3 weeks that we have calls out to, saying we need some help, and they have all been receptive,” Barnhart told the Herald-Leader.

“But it gives us some time to think about it. We’re not needing an answer tomorrow; we’re not rushing. We’re well past halfway, which is great. We’ve got back stocks for the rest, so my goal is to raise as much money as we can.”

Barnhart said UK head Coach Mark Stoops has been helpful in discussions of what the program needs in its new facility, which will include new practice fields near Alumni Drive, to move forward.

“(Stoops) said ‘This is what we need, but we don’t need this or we don’t need that,’” Barnhart said. “He’s been really good about that. Wants versus needs is really, really important and he’s been very helpful in that respect.”

Construction costs, especially the cost of steel, has caused many of the figures on these projects to balloon, so Barnhart said they’ve had to be smart in their planning.

About Jennifer Smith

Jen Smith has been a sports writer at the Herald-Leader since 2000, covering everything from high school sports to auto racing to various University of Kentucky sports. A native of Louisville and a graduate of the University of Kentucky (much to the dismay of her Louisville graduate mother and Indiana graduate father), Jen now resides in downtown Lexington with her husband and two young sons. You can follow her on Twitter @jenheraldleader or send her an email at jsmith3@herald-leader.com.
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