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UK Aims High With Upscale Football Training Center

Members of the media toured the University of Kentucky’s new football training center Friday, getting a first-hand glimpse of the team's posh new digs.  

Workers may still be adding a few final touches before practice ramps up in early August, but the wow factor is already present. From hallways tracing the football program’s history via massive interactive screens to an arena-like weight room to a sports medicine department complete with underwater treadmill, x-ray machine, and hot and cold tubs, the building sports a remarkably self-contained feel.

Executive Associate Athletic Director Marc Hill says that’s by design.

"The two biggest things this place has that the other place didn't is the dining room and the academic piece," he says. "All of the other components we kind of had in place. We've just enhanced them and beefed them up, but those two pieces are going to allow the kids not to have to leave. That makes it a one-stop shop, except for when they go to class obviously."

And say a player coming from class forgets his ID card? No worries, a retina scanner will grant him access to the facility. It's those kinds of impressive additions Hill expects to sell more potential recruits on UK.

"The whole business of college athletics is about getting the best players to come play for you, and to do that you have to have facilities like this to show them that you're committed to the sport," he says.

Needless to say, athletic staff say the $45 million dollar center is – if you’ll forgive the word – a game-changer.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.