By Alex DeMetrick

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new look and a new purpose for a University of Maryland landmark.

Alex DeMetrick reports on the rebirth of the Cole Field House.

The ceiling still has a familiar look, but the Cole Field House on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus is all new.

For starters, it has a full sized indoor practice football field for the school’s team.

During Cole’s grand re-opening, the football coach relayed his team’ reaction to seeing it for the first time.

“And just to see the look on our guys’ faces when they walked through, it was everything,” said Terps football coach D.J. Durkin.

Originally the home of Terps basketball, Cole Field House was built 61 years ago.

A new basketball arena replaced it, but not the memories or legends like those created by former coach Gary Williams.

“Just seeing what they’ve done with this building is tremendous, because it was just sitting here without much benefit to the university,” Williams says. “And Cole was the place.”

The indoor field is just phase one of Cole’s revival.

Phase two will focus on sports medicine, “a world class research and clinical center for the advanced study of the brain and nervous system.”

Critical research given the head traumas and concussions in football, making Cole unique among universities.

For those who remember the old Cole Field House, the renovation is a very big change.

“Hot. Crowded. Hard seats.” That’s how Arnold Li describes it.

But now…

“This is amazing,” says Rob Zmarlsky. “This place is wonderful. You can’t tell me this isn’t one of the best places in the country.”

“I think it’s awesome,” says Gary Jenifer. “Incredible. Got me juiced up for the season coming, yes.”

The Cole Field House will also include two outdoor practice fields. The project will complete construction in early 2019.

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