LOGAN — Utah State University director of athletics Scott Barnes announced Friday the largest gift in the history of Aggie Athletics — a lead gift of $4.5 million from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous — to fund a new strength and conditioning center.

The $6.2 million, 18,000-square-foot center will feature areas for weight training, cardiovascular workouts and speed and agility training, as well as offices for staff. Built on existing university property at the northwest corner of Romney Stadium, the state-of-the-art multi-level facility will alleviate overcrowding in the existing 5,800-square-foot conditioning center and will accommodate nearly 400 athletes from 16 sports programs.

The facility is expected to be completed in the summer of 2013.

"We are extremely thankful for the generous and historic lead gift that has made this project possible," said Barnes in a released statement. "We can't thank the donor family enough for their continued and monumental support. Their contribution to this project is a game changer for all of our programs."

"The location, programming aspects and amenities of the new strength and conditioning center will serve as a huge recruiting opportunity for all sports," Barnes added.

All funding for the new strength and conditioning center will come from private donations.

The location of the facility may allow the athletic department to capitalize on potential new merchandise sales and customer service opportunities as well.

"We will work with our architects and others to evaluate the upside to adding a game day Aggie Apparel outlet on the east end of the building as well as a possibility for a new game day ticket outlet on the west side," said Barnes.

"There is more heavy lifting to do regarding fundraising for this project, but obviously this contribution gives us a significant head start," Barnes stated.

Utah State football coach Gary Andersen, who guided the Aggies to their first bowl game since 1997, is excited about what the new facility will mean to the Utah State athletic department moving forward.

"Number one, it is a huge help for every sport, not just football, to use in preparing for their respective competition," said Andersen. "From what I have seen from the plans, it will be state-of-the-art and very first-class all the way around. All of the athletics teams will be able to get in and do their workouts in an efficient, top-notch fashion. From the football standpoint, it allows us to get the entire team in there working out together, and it allows us to be in a brand new facility that is the best of the best. It is a big help in recruiting, new facilities always help in recruiting."

Aggies head basketball coach Stew Morrill concurs.

"The progress in athletic facilities at Utah State continues to be extremely positive. Future student-athletes in all sports will enjoy this much-needed addition, and it's an obvious boost to recruiting."