BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — University at Buffalo plans to break ground in the spring on a new sports performance center attached to its indoor fieldhouse, vice president and director of athletics Mark Alnutt announced Wednesday.

A “transformational gift” from UB donor Tunney Murchie will help fund the $7.5 million project. The 12,000-square-foot, multi-level facility connected to the west end of the Murchie Family Fieldhouse will double the size of the current Morris Sports Performance Center.

“This facility is a tremendous upgrade over our existing facility and with the connection to the Murchie Family fieldhouse it allows our student-athletes for championship success in their respective field of play,” Alnutt said in a news release. “This facility is a tremendous upgrade over our existing facility and with the connection to the Murchie Family fieldhouse it allows our student-athletes the flexibility of working under one roof.”

Courtesy: UB Athletics

The Murchie family made a record donation to UB in 2017 that helped fund the $18 million project to build a long-desired indoor fieldhouse. Murchie, a 1975 graduate who played hockey for UB, previously made gifts of $3 million in 2016 to renovate the Bulls meeting areas and coaches office suite, $1 million in 2012 for capital improvements at UB Stadium and Alumni Arena, $220,000 in 2010 to renovate the Edward L Wright Practice Facility in Alumni Arena, and $100,000 for the men’s hockey club program. Murchie is owner and president of Lackawanna Products Corporation in Clarence.

“I am so thankful to the Murchie family for their generosity through the years and supporting the vision for UB Athletics to be one of the top Group of Five programs in the nation,” Alnutt said.

Construction is expected to be completed by spring 2024 on the new performance center, which will include 18 free weight training racks, a mezzanine for cardio machines, a 42-foot, 17-degree turn training incline, conference room, offices and nutrition area.

***

Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.