By Tony Phifer
Halfway to history.
That milestone was celebrated Tuesday as CSU and the team building the on-campus stadium came together to toast the halfway point of the historic project. The "topping-out" event -- meant to mark the placement of the structure's final beam -- included remarks from CSU President Tony Frank, Athletics Director Joe Parker and Maja Rosenquist, senior vice president and general manager of Mortenson Construction.
Construction workers and a group of CSU's most ardent supporters attended the event and luncheon, marveling at progress made on the stadium, set to open in September 2017. Much of the stadium's exterior has been completed even though ground was broken less than a year ago.
"The thing about this project that I'm so proud of is that this facility symbolizes Colorado State University," Frank said, thanking everyone who has worked on the stadium. "This is a university that holds itself accountable for excellence. This stadium really symbolizes that. Thanks for allowing us to, within a year from now, say to our football team, 'Welcome home.'"
When the $220 million project is complete, CSU will have an on-campus stadium for the first time in nearly 50 years. The project includes the Michael & Iris Smith Alumni Center, an academic center where the Center for Advising and Student Achievement (CASA) will be housed, and room for 41,000 fans.
"What a transformational moment it will be to bring football back to campus," Parker said.
Rosenquist listed some of the facts and figures that help tell the story of the massive project:
- Mortenson has excavated 65,000 cubic yards of dirt.
- More than 34,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured.
- More than 3,500 tons of steel have been erected.
- More than 700 pieces of pre-cast concrete have been placed.
- To date, Mortenson and partners have put in 410,000 trade hours on the project.
- More than 90 companies are collaborating on the project, most of which are located in Colorado.
Rosenquist went on to cite the contributions of other companies involved in the project, including Populous Architects and ICON Venue Group. She added that Mortenson employs nearly 100 CSU graduates -- including dozens working on the stadium project.
"Mortenson's connection to CSU is strong, and there is not another project we take more pride in than this state-of-the-art on-campus stadium," Rosenquist said. "We're so proud to be part of the northern Colorado community, and so proud to be part of Ram Nation."
Seats going fast
While the stadium construction has reached a significant milestone, the university continues to enjoy significant success in paying for the project. Premium seating for the inaugural season has been extremely popular, with more than 90 percent of available seats in suites, loge boxes and club seating areas already sold. In addition, CSU has sold more than 2,300 commemorative bricks, which will be displayed in the plaza north of the stadium.
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