The University of South Carolina Athletics Department announced the Board of Trustees approved nearly $53 million in construction projects upgrading intercollegiate athletics facilities on the Columbia campus. USC Athletics also announced the cost of football season tickets will go up to help pay for the improvements.
The action was taken at the Thursday meeting of the University's Board of Trustees, which was held on the USC-Aiken campus.
"These projects will allow us to compete at the highest level in intercollegiate athletics," said Carolina Director of Athletics Ray Tanner. "We are appreciative of the vote by the Board of Trustees to turn these plans into action."
Among the projects approved by the Board of Trustees was Phase II of the Football Indoor Practice Facility, which will be constructed on the west end of the Farmer's Market site, and the addition of new practice fields adjacent to the practice facility.
The indoor facility will have a regulation 100-yard turf football field and include restrooms, training rooms and film towers.
The Board of Trustees passed improvement projects to Williams-Brice Stadium, including renovations to the plaza surrounding the stadium.
Facility projects were also approved for a building located next to the Eugene E. Stone III Soccer Stadium, which will house locker rooms, weight room and a video room.
Upgrades are also scheduled for the Athletics Village, including the Weems Baskin Track, Field House and Tennis Complex.
As part of the facility upgrade project, the Athletics Department has announced an increase in football season ticket prices of $45. With the football season ticket price increase, the proposed Gamecock Club dues increase, set to begin in 2014, will be rescinded.
"We have a lot of momentum going our way in Gamecock Athletics," said Tanner. "We have to keep that energy going and these additional projects, which are being funded in part by all Williams-Brice ticket holders, will give us the ability to compete at the highest levels of the Southeastern Conference."
The last increase in season ticket prices was in 2008.
Board of Trustees also approved contracts for assistant football coaches Thursday.
The board approved two-year contracts for football assistant coaches Deke Adams, Kirk Botkin, Grady Brown, Shawn Elliott, G.A. Mangus, Joe Robinson, Everette Sands and Steve Spurrier Jr. All are signed through the 2014 season.
Defensive Coordinator Lorenzo Ward was given a three-year contract and is signed through the 2015 season.
Head Coach Steve Spurrier was given a two-year contract extension in December 2012 by the Board of Trustees. His current contract runs through December 2017.
"Coach Spurrier and his staff have propelled us into a Top Ten program and we appreciate what they have done at Carolina," said Tanner. "Our coaching staff is among the best in the country and their new contracts compensate them accordingly."
"Whenever you have an outstanding season as we have had each of the past two years, it's important to reward the coaches with two-year contracts. Hopefully, we can continue that success in the coming years," said Spurrier.