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Providence announces construction of new basketball practice facility

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Tuesday afternoon's announcement provides the Providence Friars with a state-of-the-art practice facility, due to be completed in Summer 2017.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence College Athletic Department continued their development of facilities Tuesday afternoon, announcing the impending construction of the Ruane Friar Development Center.

Called a "game changer" on the Providence College website, the Center will not only provide athletic upgrades, but will also include renovations to the College's Student Center, as well. Principally, however, the Ruane Development Center will provide the Men's Basketball team a desperately needed practice facility. Currently, both the Friar Men's and Women's Basketball teams share Mullaney Gymnasium at Alumni Hall; the establishment of the practice facility will allow each team their own specific space.

The funding for the project comes on the heels of a hefty donation from Providence College alumnus Michael Ruane and his wife, Liz. Athletic Director Bob Driscoll thanked Ruane during the announcement ceremony on Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that the project would not have been possible without his donation.

Providence Head Coach Ed Cooley echoed Driscoll's sentiments, adding that "This is an exciting time for Friar Men's basketball, and our entire athletics department." Per the Providence College website, a new athletic training facility and a revamped Friar Athletics Hall of Fame will also be part of the renovation process.

Currently, the project is scheduled to be completed in two separate phases. Phase One is of principal concern to the basketball program, and will begin in 2016. The nearly $30 million dollar phase is scheduled for completion in summer 2017. It will likely be a huge recruiting boost for Cooley and his staff, as their new facilities will be yet another key calling card to prospective recruits.