San Diego State University said it’s more than half way toward raising sufficient funds to build a new basketball practice facility on the campus, which will help it to maintain its status as a rising college hoops power.

SDSU Director of Athletics Jim Sterk said about $8 million of the total $14.5 million has been committed to the project that will encompass 23,500 square feet, room for two regulation basketball courts, locker rooms, team lounges, a film room and sports medicine room.

Although the men’s and women’s basketball teams play at the relatively new Viejas Arena, practices are usually held at 53-year-old Peterson Gym. Men’s coach Steve Fisher has been asking for a new practice building since soon after his arrival.

The project will be financed entirely form private funds, not student fees or taxes, Sterk said. The facility could also raise funds through the sale of naming rights.

Design of the facility was done by JCJ Architecture while the contractor will be Hunt Construction Group, the university said.

The project needs approval from the California State University System before it can get proceed. The university hopes that can be achieved in January. Once fundraising is completed, the plan is to break ground in May with completion expected in 2014.

— SDBJ Staff Report