Broncos Athletics

Santa Clara Breaks Ground for Athletic Excellence Center

Santa Clara Breaks Ground for Athletic Excellence Center

VIDEO: Schott Athletic Excellence Center Groundbreaking | VIDEO: Schott Athletic Excellence Center Groundbreaking Speeches | Photo Gallery

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – A vision is now one step closer to reality for Santa Clara Athletics.

In front of more than 500 people, including alumni, donors, student-athletes, as well as coaches and administrators, the school broke ground on the Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center on Monday.

The Athletic Excellence Center (AEC), made possible by lead funding of $15 million from Stephen C. '60 and Patricia A. Schott, and $10 million from Mary '84 and Mark Stevens, will provide dedicated space for Broncos student-athletes to train, practice, eat and study together while also opening up a court for campus events and for all students participating in club and intramural sports.

"We're so grateful to two of our former student-athletes Steve Schott (baseball) and Mary Stevens (soccer) for stepping up and giving $25 million to this project," Santa Clara Director of Athletics Renee Baumgartner said. "We can't thank them enough for their belief in the future of Santa Clara Athletics and it's going to give us the chance to compete at the highest level."

The 50,000-square-foot facility, which was announced in November and approved by the school's Board of Trustees in February, features the 4,200-square-foot Stevens Academic Center, the 9,000-square-foot Bronco Bench Foundation Sports Performance Center, an 8,000-square-foot sports medicine center, the William J. and Pamela G. Connolly Fuel Station (nutrition center) and two practice gymnasiums - Dick Davey Court and Carroll Williams Court.

Expected to be completed in the summer of 2020, the $38 million, two-story building, a concept that began more than three years ago, will be located adjacent to Leavey Center and Degheri Tennis Center.

"This building will be a game-changer for us," Baumgartner said. "We build mind, body and spirit, and that's what differentiates Santa Clara University as the best choice for our current and future student-athletes."

The AEC will triple the amount of space student-athletes currently have for practice, academics, training, nutrition and medical care.

What They're Saying About the Stephen C. and Patricia A. Schott Athletic Excellence Center

I felt it was pretty necessary to get a facility when I heard Herb (Sendek) and Renee (Baumgartner) say that this facility would be available to most all students not just the athletes themselves, but to all students and it would probably be open all 24 hours if they could pay the electric bill. Bottom line is that got me enthused and I feel very comfortable with this facility and I'm glad we're starting it right away. We did our initial talk on this about three years ago and we have been working hard to raise the rest of the money. I'm excited about it and I'm looking forward to the facility being completed in a short time.

- Stephen C. Schott, former Santa Clara baseball player

The Blue Ribbon Commission on Athletics was convened by Father Engh back in 2013 with the goal of making recommendations on how Santa Clara University's intercollegiate athletic program could help advance the mission and the vision of our fine university. As part of our work, we reviewed Santa Clara's investments in athletics compared to both our West Coast Conference and other peer schools, as well as, we looked at how other universities had built successful athletic programs. The facts were clear. Santa Clara had failed to adequately invest in athletics over the last 20-plus years and had fallen to near the bottom by most measures. The report included a series of recommendations related to leadership, to funding, and to facilities and, above all, the most important learning from the case studies was that, to achieve success, there had to be alignment; alignment that started on the top and continued through all the university's constituencies.

- John M. Sobrato, chairman of the Santa Clara University Board of Trustees

Today is a day to celebrate the people who believe in the mission of Santa Clara. The mission to educate young people but also to help them develop their full potential. As our student-athletes who are here, they are learning both on the court and in the classroom so it's a great combination of people all celebrating the mission of the university.

- Father Michael Engh, Santa Clara University president

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