FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019, file photo, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart speaks to reporters before the team's first scheduled NCAA college football practice Athens, Ga. The Bulldogs shouldn't have to worry about too much crowd noise, even in a rare road opener. Their fans are combining the Labor Day holiday weekend with a popular trip to Nashville, so No. 3 Georgia should have plenty of fans in red Saturday night when they play Vanderbilt in the Southeastern Conference opener for both teams. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Georgia has approved an $80 million expansion to its already sprawling football complex.

The 165,000-square-foot operations building will be added to the existing Butts-Mehre athletic center. It will include coaches' offices, an expansive locker room and players' lounge, a new sports-medicine facility, a much-larger weight room, and a multi-purpose space to entertain recruits.

The UGA Athletic Association's board unanimously approved the request by athletic director Greg McGarity at its fall meeting Friday.

This is the third major project for the football program since Kirby Smart took over as coach in 2016. The Bulldogs already constructed a $30.2 million indoor practice facility alongside Butts-Mehre, as well as a $63 million locker room and recruiting lounge at nearby Sanford Stadium.

The latest facility will be built in two phases, the first of which will limit Georgia to one outdoor practice field next season. The entire project is set to be completed in January 2022.


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