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Photo: Louisiana Tech's new south end zone facility

Things are looking up in Ruston, Louisiana. Membership in Conference USA means bi-annual trips to Houston, New Orleans, San Antonio and the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex instead of Hawaii, the upper portion of Idaho and the Bay Area. 

On the home front, the Bulldogs are set to install a new $18 million, 70,000-square foot facility to be placed outside the south end zone of Joe Alliet Stadium. Like most of its peers, the three-story facility will be a hub for the entire athletics department, but most of the square footage will be devoted to football. A weight room more than twice the size of the Bulldogs' current weight room, coaches' offices, locker rooms, meeting rooms, dining area, a nutrition bar and full-service kitchen and a theater-style team meeting room are just a few of the amenities the new facility will offer. 

“We know that this project is vitally important to our student-athletes, our student body and our fans,” athletic director Tommy McClelland said. “Through a lot of hard work by a lot of people we are closing in on the actual construction of this state-of-the-art facility. It will be a game changer for our athletic department and athletic programs in so many ways.”

Ground is scheduled to be broken in the spring, and the facility should be open for business before the 2015 football season. 

Here's an artistic rendering of the new facility, courtesy of TBA Studios and the Shreveport Times:

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