The University of Colorado regents Thursday approved spending $61.4 million on a City for Champions project: the proposed William J. Hybl Sports Medicine and Performance Center at the system's Colorado Springs campus.
The regents are attending a special board meeting Thursday and Friday at UCCS.
Preliminary plans call for a 104,000-square-foot building on the east side of North Nevada Avenue, north of the Lane Center for Academic Health Sciences.
A 30-year bond will fund the building with repayment coming from several sources, including tourism dollars, and funds from the project partners, UCCS and Centura Health, which owns Penrose-St. Francis Health Services system in Colorado Springs.
Thursday's action allows the initiative to continue moving forward and obtain further approvals, including a go-ahead from the Capital Development Committee of the state Legislature.
Project design is expected to begin in the fall, with construction getting under way in July 2018 and completion by Dec. 31, 2019.
The Hybl Center is part of City for Champions - a series of projects in Colorado Springs including the U.S. Olympic Museum downtown, designed to attract thousands of visitors to the area.
In December 2013, the Colorado Economic Development Commission agreed to provide some funding for the projects under the state's Regional Tourism Act.
The Hybl Center, named in honor of a noted local philanthropist, amateur sports official and diplomatic leader, will be the first facility of its kind to combine undergraduate and graduate education with hands-on clinical practice and search in a sports medicine and performance setting.
Various bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs will be offered, and academic research will focus on such areas as human performance, cardiovascular physiology, environmental stress and others.
The center will serve tens of thousands of patients each year and provide space for human performance testing and training, biomechanics, medically based fitness, athletic training, physical therapy, sports medicine primary care and orthopedics.
Centura Health will assume financial responsibility for the performance clinics' space, equipment and staff. UCCS will be responsible for research and instruction, along with leadership and some employees for the clinics.