- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - A new sports complex at the University of Oregon will be funded by a $19.2 million donation from Nike co-founder Phil Knight and his wife, Penny.

UO athletic officials announced plans for the 29,000-square-foot Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Complex in September. The project is an “enhancement” of the Casanova Center building, they said, and will bring state-of-the-art equipment to improve athletes’ health and performance, reported The Register-Guard (http://bit.ly/1kqeesT ).

The university says the center will also include three-dimensional motion-capture technology to record and improve athletes’ movements and a neurocognitive center to diagnose and treat head injuries.

“Marcus is the epitome of a student-athlete, and the Marcus Mariota Sports Performance Complex will be an outstanding tribute to his legacy,” said UO Athletic Director Rob Mullens said when the project was announced.

The price of the Mariota center works out to $662 per square foot just for construction. That doesn’t include the cost of furnishings and equipment for the space.

School officials agreed to lease a portion of the Casanova Center to a business called PHIT LLC, which is controlled by Knight. He will hire Portland-based Hoffman Construction and architectural firm SRG to complete the work there.

Construction could start in January and end by mid-September. When it’s finished, Knight will give the space back to UO.

The multi-million-dollar donation is the latest in a series of gifts from Knight to the university. The leasing arrangement is similar to other projects he’s built for the school, including a lavish 145,000-square-foot, $69 million complex that opened in 2013.

The university filed a building permit application with Eugene Planning and Development Department on Tuesday. Andy McNamara, the school’s assistant athletic director for communications, confirmed that the permit was for the sports performance complex.

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Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com

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