Up until 2008, the UAB Sports Enhancement program had been housed in the lower east end of Bartow Arena since the building's construction in 1988. Dr. Jim Hilyer and James began training the men's basketball team in the then-new facility, and, shortly thereafter, Strength Coach Stacey Torman began to introduce nearly all men's and women's athletic teams to the 3,300-square-foot facility. Along with the growth of the school's football program to Division I status, new equipment was purchased in 1995 for all athletes to utilize in their training regimens. Out of UAB's 17 NCAA intercollegiate teams, 16 of them made use of the amenities in Bartow Arena. At the time, women's rifle was the only NCAA-sanctioned program that did not utilize that equipment.
In October 2007, construction of a new home for the Sports Enhancement program got under way at UAB. Bell Gym, a part of the school's old campus recreation center and a practice location for some of UAB's athletic programs, was to become the first in a line of facility renovations seen by the Athletic Department under then-new Director of Athletics and former UAB baseball player, Brian Mackin. The project was completed in January 2008 with the sports enhancement coaches moving into private offices inside the new facility shortly thereafter. The new 10,000-square-foot space provides athletes with an open and workable environment to weight train, do agility work and perform cardiovascular exercises.
For more information on the new UAB Weight Room facility, along with a construction photo gallery, please click here.