STILLWATER - Oklahoma State Director of Athletics Mike Holder has announced that the University will begin construction on the Sherman E. Smith Training Center, the school's indoor practice facility, approximately August 1, 2011.
Work has already begun on the new grass and turf practice fields that will be located adjacent to the Smith Center and just north of Boone Pickens Stadium. The approximate cost for the new indoor facility will be $16 million, with the practice fields and surrounding fencing to be completed for $3 million.
The Smith Center and practice fields will be the latest of several new dynamic athletic facilities that rise above Hall of Fame Avenue in Stillwater. The Smith Center, Gallagher-Iba Arena and Boone Pickens Stadium will compose one of the finest athletic footprints in the country.
"Sherman Smith was a good friend of mine," Holder said. "His relationship with Boone Pickens dates back to the 1940s. They shared the same birthday, were in the same fraternity and had a business relationship."
Sherman Smith passed away on June 6, 2011.
"It's fitting that two of the most important structures for OSU Athletics will be across the street from each other and will bear the names of Sherman Smith and Boone Pickens," Holder added.
Smith's gift for OSU's practice facility was originally termed an endowment.
"We owe another thank you to the Smith family," Holder said. "They have allowed us to use their gift for the construction of the indoor facility. Boone Pickens has made a testamentary gift that will provide for the endowment of the facility."
OSU is continuing to fundraise for the practice fields project.