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Chicago Bears to extend training centre

The Chicago Bears have partnered with global design and architecture firm HOK to design a 162,500ft2 extension to their training facilities.

The building work will add to the already existing 143,000-square-foot Halas Hall facility and a 30,600ft2 remodeling project on the northeast side of the building.

The magnitude of the project will completely transform the look and feel of all existing team space and provide even greater resources for the team’s training and performance needs. The initial phase of the expansion project will focus on enhancement of the team’s football operations, including player training, education, performance, nutrition and rehabilitation. The project is scheduled to break ground in March 2018, with an expected opening in August 2019; Mortenson Construction is the general contractor.

President and CEO Ted Phillips said:

The improvements being made at Halas Hall through this development project further exemplify the commitment the organisation has to investing in the success of our football operations and making the Bears a premier destination.

Not only will this project double the size of our first-class facility, it will also allow for many enhanced amenities incorporating state-of-the-art technology and ensure room for future growth. We are both proud and excited to see this project moving forward after months of input and support from our leadership team and the partners involved, especially the City of Lake Forest and HOK.

The addition will feature a 13,000ft2 indoor turf space for training and walkthroughs with a 133ftx26ft video projection wall and adjacent virtual reality room, in addition to a weight room expanded by 2,000ft2.

Also included will be an equipment room, recovery space and nutrition/fuel station that are double the current size. Additionally, the sports medicine space will be four times larger than the present area and will feature a hydrotherapy pool.

Position meeting rooms and the draft room will double in capacity, while coaches’ offices will increase by 50% and allow for improved collaboration.

A 3,250ft2 players’ lounge and separate huddle space will be created, along with an approximately 1,700ft2 player locker room expansion and a larger coaches/scouts locker room.

The team and staff café will be expanded by 4,300ft2 to support the organisation’s growth, as well as providing new food offerings. Basement storage space will also be increased through the expansion.

Through a completely separate construction project that is currently underway, two additional football fields are being built to the east of the Walter Payton Center, which will allow the team to spread out the field use over four fields throughout the offseason and during in-season practices.

That project also calls for the addition of a training slope, a storage facility and a small practice viewing suite, much like the existing viewing suite used at Halas Hall for corporate partners and other VIP guests.

A future phase of upgrades for the existing office space is being developed for business operations.