SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — It was a big win for the SU faithful as shovels went into the ground for the new Syracuse Football Operations Center on Friday, Sept. 22.

The new facility is coming to life partly thanks to John and Laura Lally. The Lally’s pledged $25 million in 2019 to help bring SU athletic facilities up to the level of other ACC teams, with a specific focus on improving sports medicine and injury prevention.

Planning for the new center is ongoing, but Syracuse University Athletics Director John Wildhack promises an efficient facility that takes into account the demands on athletes’ time. He says recent prospects have seen what’s coming, and it’s already winning recruits.

“We want to be a bowl team every year. We want to be in the top third of the conference. There are 17 schools in there. If you’re in the top third, you’re going to be ranked nationally, go to a great bowl game. So, we have ambition.” Wildhack said.

John Lally played as an offensive guard for the Orange from 1977 to 1981 under Frank Maloney and Dick MacPherson. The boy who grew up in the small town of Clarence, New York then went on to build a career in manufacturing equipment for the automotive, aerospace and defense industries.

“Football got me to graduation, but the academics side allowed me to build a very successful business that grew from $2 million to $200 million,” Lally said.

This new center will include more space for sports medicine facilities and student-athlete recovery rooms. It will also feature a new and expanded team cafeteria and nutrition rooms, along with a new locker room, position meeting rooms and offices.

A $150 million capital campaign is underway to help finish this project. Wildhack says it will all be ready for the student-athletes in roughly two years.