In August 2008, the Spartans moved into one of the nation's finest football facilities. The $15 million expansion and renovation project for the Duffy Daugherty Building began in June 2007.
The face-lift started with construction of the 25,000-square-foot Skandalaris Football Center that features new team, staff and position meeting rooms, coaches' offices and The Demmer Family Hall of History. MSU alumni Robert and Julie Skandalaris of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., donated $5 million as the lead gift for this $12.5 million phase of the project.
The Demmer Family Hall of History provides a public display for MSU's rich football tradition, highlighting the many accomplishments of its outstanding former players, coaches and teams. The display area is named in honor of John E. Demmer, William and Linda Demmer, Ed and Laura Demmer, all of Lansing, and Brad and Peg Demmer (San Antonio, Texas), whose family gift is the most significant made to the football facility project.
"It's a facility that certainly is showcased each week in the recruiting process," Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio said. "There's a certain `wow' factor when you walk into The Demmer Family Hall of History, but what we're proudest of is the fact that this facility creates an ideal environment for teaching and learning.
"The building is designed for efficiency, especially with the way the team meeting area can be converted into (offense and defense) unit meeting rooms in a matter of seconds along with the close proximity to the position meeting rooms. With this design and organization, we don't lose valuable time when transitioning from meeting space to meeting space.
"We utilize the latest video technology, with the ability to convert plays on video into diagramed plays for scouting purposes. In addition, this facility houses one of the largest computer servers on campus, allowing the coaches to access on the intranet: footage from every practice, MSU game video from the past five seasons, current opponents' game video as well as video of nearly 1,000 recruits.
"The Demmer Family Hall of History is important because the past is the best indicator of the future," Dantonio continued. "From a historical perspective, Michigan State is a Top 25 football program, with six National Championships. We're proud of our rich football tradition and it should be documented for the entire Spartan Nation to appreciate and embrace."
In April 2008, the Duffy Daugherty Football Building weight room increased in size from 9,000 to 16,500 square feet. The $2 million weight room expansion and upgrade was completed in September 2008.
Former Spartan head coach George Perles and his wife Sally contributed $500,000 for the construction of a $1 million plaza outside the Duffy Daugherty Football Building.
"Another neat feature of the Duffy Daugherty Football Building expansion project is the creation of the Perles Plaza, located at the corner of Chestnut Road and Shaw Lane," Dantonio said. "It's a great gathering place, not only on game days but throughout the week."
The Duffy Daugherty Building, located across the street from Spartan Stadium, is named after the legendary Spartan coach who went 109-69-5 from 1954-1972 to become the winningest coach in program history. The state-of-the-art facility underwent its first major overhaul prior to the 1997 football season. The construction added 17,000-square feet to the complex, more than doubling the facility's original size from its opening in 1979. Financing for the $5 million construction and renovation project was provided entirely by Stadium Club seating in Spartan Stadium.
In 2006, the grass practice fields behind the Duffy Daugherty Football Building were completely renovated to better mimic the Kentucky bluegrass playing surface in Spartan Stadium. In addition, a 50-yard infill field, manufactured by General Sports Turf (Rochester, Mich.), was installed at the southwest corner of the practice fields.
In June 2002, AstroPlay, a new concept in synthetic turf, was installed in the 86,000 square-foot indoor practice facility. The $310,000 surface is grass-like from concept to performance. Unlike previous generations of artificial turf, AstroPlay is not abrasive. The grass-like, polyethylene fiber matrix is filled with rubber granules.
In its 2002 College Football Preview, Sports Illustrated featured Michigan State's training room in the Duffy Daugherty Building as one of the nation's ultimate facilities. The training room features a hydrotherapy station and a treadmill with suspension equipment, which allows student-athletes to rehab with reduced stress on their joints. The training room also includes cold-pool spas and various other therapy equipment and modalities.