April 23, 2008
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Colorado State is taking a major step forward, a $20 million leap toward a vivid future.
In a historic announcement, the university on Wednesday unveiled its largest commitment toward athletic facilities in four decades. Breaking ground this summer near Moby Arena, Colorado State will erect a $13 million indoor practice facility and a $7 million academic and training center.
"These buildings show that Colorado State is unmistakably serious about achieving its stretch goals," Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk said. "These buildings, combined with the recent renovations at our football stadium, put us where we need to be in terms of offering quality, state-of-the-art facilities to our coaches and student-athletes, those who are here now and those who are thinking about coming here. There has never been a better time to be a Ram."
The process began in October 2006, when Kowalczyk and associate athletic director Doug Max made the new buildings a priority within the athletic department's long-term plans. But without the help of Colorado State University President Larry Edward Penley and the Board of Governors, the university would not have reached this point.
"The support of Dr. Penley and the board, who were there every step of the way, was critical," Kowalczyk said. "It is no secret that without that foundation, we would not be standing here today. We have leadership on this campus that not only recognizes the importance of investing in athletics, but also what a successful athletics department can do for the university."
Quality architectural and construction partners
Designed by Aller-Lingle Architects P.C., and RATIO Architects, Inc., the facilities will be built by Saunders Construction, Inc.
Aller-Lingle, a local firm instrumental in several campus projects, including recent Hughes Stadium renovations, served as the lead architect on both new buildings. The firm sought the assistance of Indianapolis-based RATIO because of its recent experience in the design of similar venues at BCS universities such as Illinois, Oregon, West Virginia and Indiana.
Saunders has played a significant role in the construction of several prominent Colorado projects, including the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre in Dove Valley and the Broomfield Events Center.
Indoor practice facility at a glance
· Cost: $13 million.
· 66,267 square feet, including 48,125 dedicated to the football portion and 8,827 to the basketball/volleyball area.
· 65 feet at its tallest point.
· Contains a 70-yard synthetic-turf football field (including one end zone).
· Features a four-lane, 70-meter track and a unique shoe-changing room adjacent to the football field.
· Gymnasium easily encloses a regulation basketball court and two half courts.
· Volleyball configuration can accommodate two full-length courts.
· Has flexibility to allow the softball team to set up batting cages on the football field.
· Will provide shelter for any student-athlete in each of the Rams' 16 varsity sports.
· Includes training room, equipment storage, lobby and trophy display case, and restrooms.
· Uses an innovative air circulation system.
· Located east of the Moby Pool and north of the Student Recreation Center.
Academic training center at a glance
· Cost: $7 million.
· 17,307 square feet, 9,000 for the academic center and 8,307 for the strength and conditioning area.
· Two stories tall, containing two levels.
· Training portion of the ground floor includes a state-of-the-art weight room, strength and conditioning offices, a nutrition center and restrooms.
· Ground-level academic center features five private tutorial rooms, large study areas and a spiral staircase.
· Upper level includes a computer lab with 30 workstations, more workspace and offices for CSU's academic staff.
· Located southeast of the McGraw Athletic Center.
Raising construction funds
The university recognizes that enhanced facilities are critical to attracting national-caliber student-athletes to Fort Collins. Construction of these buildings will create an environment that promotes growth and excellence. And though that construction comes at a steep cost, Colorado State is committed to raising those funds to turn this vision into authentic symbols of the university's pride.
While Colorado State is supporting the construction through bonded funds, the athletics department has begun a campaign to raise $20 million. The university already has raised $1.785 million.
Fort Collins natives and CSU graduates Brett and Danette Anderson launched the fundraising campaign with a pacesetting gift. In November, the family gave $1.5 million to assist with the construction of the academic and training center. To recognize the gift, the academic portion of the new building will be named the Anderson Academic Center.
There are several other naming opportunities available. Within the academic and training center, the university would like to name the overall facility, the weight room, offices, tutorial rooms and computer lab. Within the indoor practice facility, CSU is working toward securing gifts to name the entire facility, the practice field, gymnasium, training track and lobby.
After Kowalczyk and Max set the plans in motion 19 months ago, and thanks to support from President Penley and the Board of Governors, ground breaking is expected to take place this summer.
If all goes according to plan, the facilities will be available in the fall of 2009. Saunders will construct each project simultaneously.
The university has designed and launched a Web site to detail plans to build the new athletics facilities. The site is http://www.colostate.edu/athleticscampaign.
"The academic and training center will allow our student-athletes to meet their potential both academically and athletically." -Tim Miles, head men's basketball coach
"The indoor practice facility will not only provide our team the opportunity to practice in a state-of-the-art facility, but will also enhance our ability to attract the best student-athletes to CSU. It will secure our place among the elite volleyball programs in the country." - Tom Hilbert, head volleyball coach
"I've been a student-athlete and an assistant coach at Colorado State, and I can testify that this already was a special place to make valuable memories during such an important part of a young person's life. These facilities will make that experience even better." - Steve Fairchild, head football coach
"A new facility will reflect the support provided by the university and our supporters for academic and athletic success." - Senior Mekana Barnes, 2007 All-American, volleyball
"I researched athletics facilities in the Mountain West Conference during an internship with the President's office. CSU's new facility will place us at the top of indoor facilities in the MWC. The impact on our entire program will be tremendous." - 1,000-yard rusher Kyle Bell, senior, football
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