Tom Dienhart, Senior Writer, August 17, 2017

MINNEAPOLIS — The view from P.J. Fleck?s office in the Football Performance Center is sweet. Or, to borrow his word, it is ?elite.?

The first-year Minnesota coach will be able to see the football practice fields, the baseball diamond and his team?s new indoor facility, among other things. No doubt the Athletes Village-highlighted by the Football Performance Center–under construction at Minnesota is gonna be a game-changer for this program.

The public-private funded endeavor will overhaul the University of Minnesota athletic department, giving it some of the top facilities in the Big Ten–if not the nation. Plans were first hatched for the Athletes Village back in 2012. Now, cranes, saws and drills are in full motion for a $166 million project that is expected to be completed in January 2018.

On Wednesday, BTN received a tour of the expansive work site from Assistant Director of Facilities Sam Nolden. Among the highlights were a cooking area where chefs will be brought in to teach student-athletes how to prepare healthy meals. There also will be a yoga/Pilates area, per the request of Fleck.

And you want views? There are many that stop you in your tracks on the tour, including from the fifth floor of the Land O?Lakes Center for Excellence (academic center) that offers a spectacular vista of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. Plus, check this out: The Athletes Village buildings will feature sage glass windows with electrochromic technology to enhance natural light, while also reducing heat and glare.

Other highlights:

  • An expanded academic center
  • Indoor football practice facility in which you can fit the existing Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex
  • Dining area open to students
  • Football offices and meeting rooms
  • Nutrition center complete with smoothie bar
  • Medical area with capabilities for X-rays
  • Athletic training area with underwater treadmills
  • Locker room with special venting
  • Weight room

And on it goes.

Football will be impacted most by this project, set to be completed in January 2018. But many sports-as well as the student body-will be benefit from the state-of-the-art project, including practice gyms, locker rooms and offices for men?s and women?s basketball.

Check out some the photos and videos taken during the BTN tour.