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Published: September 17, 2012

UT to Re-dedicate Martinez Athletics Center and New Academic Building on Sept. 27

The University of Tampa will re-dedicate the newly renovated Martinez Athletics Center and the adjacent Health Sciences and Human Performance building on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 10:30 a.m.

The re-dedication will be held in the lobby of the Martinez Athletics Center. Former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez, a UT alumnus who the facility is named after, will be in attendance, as will Mayor Bob Buckhorn and other dignitaries.

The renovated facilities account for more than 110,000 square feet of multi-use classrooms, labs, faculty offices and athletics space. Construction of the Health Sciences and Human Performance building (HSHP) began in June 2011, and renovation of the Martinez Athletics Center (MAC) began spring 2012. 

MAC's longtime centerpiece is its 3,432-seat gymnasium. However, today the building has been transformed into a center that integrates athletics with a focus on academics, skill development, UT athletic history, training and rehabilitation, and administration. The center incorporates new locker rooms, weight room, media center, aerobic room, concession area and study lounge.

The center also received updated branding to emphasize Spartan themes, and includes a new Sword & Shield Room. Displays highlight UT’s Athletes of the Century, Academic All-Americans, National Championships and Community Service Awards, UT athletics history and more.

HSHP, now a two-story structure, is used primarily for general academic purposes and for the Department of Health Sciences and Human Performance. HSHP includes eight classrooms, one athletic training classroom/lab, two human anatomy and physiology labs, one human performance lab and one marine science lab.

A few MAC highlights: 

  •  There are 425 lockers — 213 for women, 212 for men. There are additional locker rooms and lockers for UT faculty/staff, game officials and visiting teams.
  • The sandblasted sculptural UT logo above the entrance to the MAC consists of a 7-foot diameter, etched-glass center, surrounded by a 10-foot diameter metal ring. The glass medallion may be the largest exterior-edge lit, etched-glass sculpture of its kind.
  • The MAC lobby utilizes six large skylights.
  • The sword in the east wall of the Sword & Shield Room is 45 feet tall and made of stainless steel. It has a concealed LED lighting scheme that can be controlled to shine red or white.
  • The shield in the Sword & Shield Room is made of fiberglass and steel and is 24 feet in diameter.
  • The 2,000-pound shield had to be delivered to the site in three pieces: two halves and the formed UT logo.
  • The custom-made bronze Spartan helmet was crafted by Eric Thorsen of Bigfork, MT.
  • The two full-figure Spartan warrior sculptures standing guard in front of the MAC were crafted by W. Stanley “Sandy” Proctor of Tallahassee, FL.
  • The Spartan sculpture that today is the centerpiece of the Spartan Hall of Champions was also Proctor’s creation. It was a gift to the University from the UT classes of 2004 and 2005, and previously stood watch in front of the MAC.
  • Parts of the MAC and HSHP were originally constructed as exhibit halls for the Florida State Fair, which was located on what is now UT property until 1973.

UT President Ronald Vaughn said both building renovations reflect demand to accommodate a growing and successful athletics program as well as the increasing need for academic space, especially in the area of health sciences and human performance.

“It’s my belief that both building projects will enhance Spartan spirit and academic experiences for current and future generations of UT students,” Vaughn said.

The project was funded primarily by gifts to the University along with some University resources.