design thinkers

Georgia Tech Breaks Ground on Fanning Center

THE FLATS, March 25, 2024 – Georgia Tech officially broke ground on the Thomas A. Fanning Student-Athlete Performance Center during a ceremony on Monday evening.

Located in the northeast corner of Bobby Dodd Stadium at Hyundai Field, the Fanning Center was approved by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia in April 2022, and is being constructed on the footprint of the former Edge/Rice Center. The 100,000-square-foot facility will serve as a state-of-the-art hub for Georgia Tech student-athletes, with areas dedicated to strength and conditioning, sports medicine (including mental health services) and nutrition, as well as expanded and enhanced meeting and office space exclusive to Georgia Tech football.

The Fanning Center will also be equipped with the Institute’s first-ever sports science lab, which will use pro-model motion tracking to capture student-athletes’ performance data that will feed into an in-house data analytics office for performance tracking and analysis.

Designed by The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM) and being constructed by DPR Construction (both Atlanta-based), the design and development of the Fanning Center highlights Georgia Tech’s commitment to sustainability. In addition to energy-reducing strategies, steel from the existing Bobby Dodd Stadium infrastructure will be repurposed into the new structure. Cross-laminated timber will also be featured throughout the facility, adding warm accents, reducing the carbon footprint and boosting student-athletes’ well-being.

The building is named in honor of Georgia Tech alumnus Dr. Thomas A. Fanning, who holds three degrees from Georgia Tech (B.S. industrial management, M.S. industrial management, honorary Ph.D.) and was a visionary leader in the energy industry during his 43-year career with the Southern Company, which included serving as president and chief executive officer from 2010-23. Fanning’s volunteer leadership through the years has been integral to the growth and success of Georgia Tech. His extensive involvement with the Institute includes service on the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees, the Georgia Tech Advisory Board, the Alexander-Tharpe Fund Board of Directors, the Scheller College of Business Advisory Board and Transforming Tomorrow: The Campaign for Georgia Tech Steering Committee, where he serves as co-chair.

Fanning, Georgia Tech President Ángel Cabrera, director of athletics J Batt and football head coach Brent Key all delivered remarks at Monday’s ceremonial groundbreaking.

“This is an incredibly exciting day for Georgia Tech athletics, as we move one step closer to delivering a first-class, state-of-the-art facility for our student-athletes,” Batt said. “We’re thankful for the generosity of Tom Fanning and all our generous supporters who have donated to this project, for the visionary leadership of Dr. Cabrera, and for our partners at SLAM and DPR Construction, all of whom have been integral in reaching this milestone. We’re eagerly awaiting the opening of the Fanning Center in 2026.”

“It’s been incredibly special to have led the design for my alma mater, creating a new epicenter of athletics that is holistically dedicated to student-athletes’ success,” SLAM lead architect and principal Marc Clear said. “The groundbreaking of the Thomas A. Fanning Student-Athlete Performance Center is an exciting milestone in creating this technology-rich home for GT Athletics”

”As the college athletics landscape evolves, we’re thrilled to start bringing Georgia Tech’s vision for student-athletes and its campus to life,” said Brian Oliver, DPR Construction project executive, Georgia Tech alumnus, men’s basketball letterwinner and famed member of “Lethal Weapon 3,” who along with Kenny Anderson and Dennis Scott helped lead the Yellow Jackets to their first NCAA Final Four in 1990. “We’re also proud that this project will help support opportunities for local workers in the skilled trades, many of whom feel personal connections with the campus and its athletic program.”

The Fanning Center will begin impacting the performance of Georgia Tech student-athletes on a daily basis in the spring of 2026.