As Chris Carlson reports today on Syracuse.com, it looks like Syracuse University has cleared its final legal hurdle in order to start building this long-rumored indoor practice facility. Whether or not it's the final legal hurdle or the "final" legal hurdle, however, we'll find out soon enough.
The main issue was building over a city storm drain -- not a thing that you can usually do legally. That law has been changed and the drainage issue's been resolved, clearing that issue up for SU.
But as of right now, there's still no official timeline on when construction starts... except hopefully "very soon." (per the university)
A brief review of the timeline of events regarding this facility:
- July 2013: Syracuse enters "design phase" of 102,258-square foot practice facility.
- September 2013: Syracuse breaks ground on $13M indoor practice facility, with pomp, circumstance, gold shovels and "the works."
- April 2014: Still just a blue tarp, the new indoor practice facility is not underway yet, due to various permitting, coding and legal issues got in the way. Also of note: the price went up (to $17M) while the size went down (to 82,000ish square feet). You can read more about all of this here.
- Late May/early June 2014: Permit in-hand, we're now "ready to go." Maybe. No word on when the thing gets built, though, because we neither have a start date nor an end date. I'd venture to guess the timing is now for it to be completed in time for National Signing Day 2015 -- but given how Syracuse winters normally go... who knows?
So there you have it. The update is there is no major update, except for the fact that we may have the permits and ability to do something now. That's a plus, as long as it's true. I have some faith this starts getting under way, though a lot of vague notes are holding me back from full confidence in a prompt start and completion (all quotes from the university, in Carlson's article):
"While we don't have an exact start date, hopefully very soon we'll begin the actual construction."
"It's common for university and institutions to hold ceremonial groundbreakings as celebrations and an opportunity to tell the story about a new project."
"The city, county and the university are three bodies that are all working on a number of projects at the same time."
"When asked if the IPF would still be completed by the second target date, Quinn repeated twice that the IPF is a top priority' for the university." - this, direct from Carlson's story
They have to say these things if they don't know for sure, so I don't blame them for any of it. Just hoping that's all it is -- it's another way of saying "I don't know" -- instead of stalling because they know something else will delay. But if we're looking at what's held things up so far, those issues are now out of the way. So at the very least, it's a move in the right direction.
SLIGHT UPDATE (4:38 P.M. ET): Down in the comments, cuse07orange points out the following:
SU Arch Grad here...
If they pulled a building permit they’re going to start something pretty soon. [Disclaimer] I don’t have any experience working in Syracuse, but have worked in the US and internationally, and building permits typically have a shelf life of 90 days in the US and are the #1 obstacle to starting construction (they probably had to get GC’s, Subcontractors, P&Z approval before this, so it’s the last cog in the wheel before we see some #hardnosed steel going up).
... so while that's not a RESOUNDING statement that things are going to start in 90 days, it sure sounds like they'll be putting part of the structure together in order to comply with the permit.