On Wednesday afternoon, Marquette University president Dr. Michael Lovell announced that Marquette was partnering with Aurora Health Care in the construction of the new Athletic Performance Research Center.
Aurora will contribute $40 million towards the construction costs of the fieldhouse, which is expected to cost approximately $120 million. It's the largest single contribution that Aurora has made to a partner in the Milwaukee area. The fieldhouse is expected to be somewhere between 250,000 and 300,000 square feet in size when construction is completed, and will be bordered on four sides by North 6th Street, West Michigan Street, North 10th Street, and the Marquette Interchange.
Our focus on the fieldhouse here has clearly been on the benefit to Marquette's various sports teams that will use the facility for practices and games, but the partnership with Aurora is a strong reminder of the true purpose of the building. It's not just a lacrosse stadium, or a training facility for soccer. This building is a joint venture between athletics, the College of Health Sciences, the College of Engineering, the Milwaukee Bucks, and now the largest health care provider in the state that will be used to advance the methodology of athletic training and performance. When fully funded and developed, the APRC will be capable of launching Marquette to the forefront of research in this area.
While getting someone to donate one-third of the construction costs is a major league deal, it's not the biggest news item in the press release. According to said release, groundbreaking on the fieldhouse won't take place until 2017, meaning it's at least one year away, if not more. Since the fieldhouse will be a home for Marquette's men's and women's lacrosse teams to play a few games during the frigid weather of February and maybe early March, I think it's safe to say that there won't be a game played in the fieldhouse until at least the 2019 season.