By Ed Enoch
The Tuscaloosa News

BIRMINGHAM — The University of Alabama System board of trustees will consider plans for a new recruiting lounge in the Mal Moore Athletic Facility when it meets Friday.

The new recruiting lounge, along with proposed revisions to the plans for the UA Aquatic Center renovation, were part of a series of construction items unanimously approved by the board’s Physical Properties Committee on Thursday.

“Nobody wants to tell Nick Saban no?” committee Chairman James Wilson III joked and the proposal for the lounge was quickly approved.

The plans for the recruiting lounge call for the renovation of 7,447-square-feet of the first and second floors of the Mal Moore Athletic Facility.

The lounge will primarily be used for football recruiting, according to Tim Leopard, associate vice president for construction.

The work will include upgrading finishes, enhancing audio/visual systems, and new graphics and furniture. The project will also address approximately $680,000 in deferred maintenance cost by replacing old lighting and finishes.

The preliminary budget is $2 million. The project will be funded with Crimson Tide Foundation funds. Davis Architects of Birmingham will design the renovation.

The lounge will include a showcase space to display the recent accomplishments of student athletes and alumni, according to the presentations.

The committee approved waiving the consultant selection process to choose Davis Architects of Birmingham for the project.

The plans for the aquatic center renovation were revised to include converting the existing indoor natatorium 25-meter pool to an outdoor facility. The proposed changes would increase the budget by $6 million to $21 million.

Mike Lanier with HOAR Program Management said the outdoor pool would be heated. It will be used as a warm-up pool for competitions as well as training.

As part of the planned changes, more landscaping would be added to screen the pool.

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