Officials unveil plan for $75 million West Stadium renovation

By The Mercury

ARLINGTON, Texas — On the eve of Kansas State University’s third appearance in the Cotton Bowl, Wildcat fans were introduced to one of the largest facility projects in K-State history Thursday when the athletics department unveiled plans for a campaign to fund a new West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium during the pep rally at Rangers Ballpark.

Phase 2 of the Bill Snyder Family Stadium master plan will feature a massive new west-side structure constructed in limestone at a projected cost of $75 million. The plan is to provide enhanced amenities for K-State fans and student-athletes, while replacing the stadium’s original facilities built in 1969 and the Dev Nelson Press Box that opened in 1993.

The new structure, which will be 250,000 gross square feet, will include expansive concession and restroom facilities, a new ticket office and K-State retail locations, a K-State Hall of Honor within the large concourse, a student-athlete dining hall, new club and loge seats as well as additional premium suites and a new press/media level.

Phase 1 of the master plan was completed prior to the 2011 season with the addition of new restrooms to the east-side upper deck and a new AstroTurf playing surface on Wagner Field.

“As we continue to move forward as a member of the Big 12 Conference, it is imperative that we build upon the tradition and success of our program and the passion of our fan base,” K-State athletic director John Currie said in a press release. “The grassroots support of our fans, coupled with philanthropic leadership will allow us to privately fund this transformational project and significantly enhance not only the world-class experience of our student-athletes and the national visibility of Kansas State University, the city of Manhattan and the state of Kansas, but also the terrific fans that will help make this a reality.

Currie promised “something in this facility for every fan and student-athlete.”

Among the enhancements geared directly toward the fans are more than double the number of restroom fixtures from the current structure and more than triple the concession points of sale, an increase in ADA seating, larger and more efficient gates for entry into the stadium and a much larger concourse area of approximately 40,000 square feet. 

The project will be led by the sports design firm AE Com (formerly Ellerbe Becket out of Kansas City) with design support from Heery Design in conjunction with Construction Managers GE Johnson and Mortenson Construction. K-State’s goal is to break ground prior to the 2012 football season with an estimated substantial completion in time for the 2013 football season. The initial construction process will take place around the current press box structure before being fully completed.

No tax or tuition dollars will be used, as the facility will be funded entirely by gifts.

University officials said that while more than one-third of the $75 million in funding needed to complete the project has already been secured, they would wait until they have received at least 50 to 60 percent or more of the total funding before bonds are issued and ground is broken on construction.

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