There was a big game getting ready to be played in Allen Fieldhouse, not to mention tonight's annual pigskin spectacular, but Kansas University football coach Mark Mangino said Sunday was a "super day" because of the announcement of KU's new football facility.
"I don't about the game being played later onto day that everyone is talking about, but this is a really super day for KU football," said a smiling Mangino, after KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins announced in a Sunday morning press conference in Hadl Auditorium that all the funding for a future football facility near Memorial Stadium had been secured.
The project -- which Perkins said will take a year and a half of actual construction time starting somewhere in early 2007 and should be complete by July 2008 -- involves the construction of a new football complex adjacent to Memorial Stadium.
Plans for the building include offices, academic areas, a weight room, locker rooms, an audio-visual room, meeting rooms, a cardio room, a hydro-therapy room, a nutrition area and a display area. Kansas Athletics has named HNTB Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., as the architect of record.
"By consolidating all football activities into one area, the facility will free up space needed for other sports," Perkins said. "In addition, this football facility will help KU football be more competitive with other Big 12 programs."
Funding for the $31-million project was provided largely through the generosity of two KU alumni families - the Kivistos (former basketball team captain Tom Kivisto and his wife Julie) and the Andersons (Dana, Sue and Justin) - as well as several other families, including Charles and Sharon Lynch Kimbell (Hutchinson, Kansas), Frank Sabatini and family (Topeka, Kansas), and Ken Wagnon (Wichita, Kansas).
"The entire KU athletics family is indebted to these families, and all those who have donated to this project, for their generosity," Perkins said.
Perkins said that while the exact location of where the facility would sit near Memorial Stadium has not been set in stone, he assured the gathering that the construction would not interfere with the tradition of the hill.
KU Chancellor Robert Hemenway took Perkins' statement a step further.
"The only way we would disturb the view of the Campanile, is if there is gravestone that says Bob Hemenway," said the Chancellor with a chuckle.