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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sports facility upgrades expanded

$55M to be spent on Allen Fieldhouse, other buildings

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With upgrades to the Kansas University football team's facilities nearly complete, attention this summer will return to Allen Fieldhouse and the area around it for $55 million in upgrades, expansions and additions.

The upgrades will be funded in the near term through state bonds, which will be paid back by donations to and revenues from the athletics department, according to documents supplied to the Kansas Board of Regents in advance of its meeting next week. The $55 million plan will supplant a previous plan for $15 million in renovations to Allen Fieldhouse alone.

"In order to attract the best players and make the best fan experience, we need to get started on this plan as soon as possible," associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said.

This is the $55 million will pay for, according to the documents supplied to the regents:

¢ At Allen Fieldhouse, the locker rooms, restrooms, concourses and concession areas will be remodeled. Other mechanical and electrical improvements will also be made. While those improvements were previously known, new to the plan are a connection between the fieldhouse and Wagnon Student Athlete Center and a two-level bridge to the parking garage. The connection to Wagnon will allow for improvements to fire exits in the upper levels of the fieldhouse.

¢ The Horesji Family Athletic Center will undergo some of the most dramatic renovations, including increasing the capacity of the volleyball facility from about 1,300 people to "at least 2,000 people," Marchiony said. The new men's and women's basketball facility will be built as part of Horesji as well, between the existing structure and Wagnon.

¢ Wagnon Student Athlete Center/Parrott Athletic Center, which is between the fieldhouse and the large Anschutz Sports Pavilion, will receive upgrades to locker rooms and offices that had been used by the football team. The renovations will upgrade the space available for sports including softball, soccer and track. Additionally, a second floor may be added to a one-story portion of Anschutz, which would be used for student study and offices.

Donors in recent days have received solicitations to take part in KU's new "Building on Excellence" campaign. Donations to this campaign would likely go to support some of these projects.

Marchiony said these upgrades were necessary for the facilities to stay competitive and maintain their usefulness.

"We feel Allen Fieldhouse is one of, if not the, best college basketball venues in the country. We want to keep it that way," Marchiony said. "In order to attract top-flight players in every sport, we need to make these changes."

So far, plans for the project aren't completed, Marchiony said, though the athletics department has commissioned Arnold Imaging of Kansas City, Mo., to create a video of at least some of the renovations.

No figure was available Wednesday night for how much of the total $55 million had been secured from donors. According to what was provided to the regents, however, "athletics has several pledges and continues to raise funds for this project - no state funds will be spent on this project."

Comments

Jayhawk1116 9 years, 5 months ago

A few years ago I decided to try to get a parking pass for the football games. To do so I needed to "DONATE" at least $100. I "donated" my $100 and found out my meager "donation" only got me a parking pass for the parking garage where it was revealed only AFTER the fact that tailgating and grilling is strictly forbidden. Good old Marchione's response to several fans'(including mine) outrage was "WE'RE NOT IN THE BUSINESS OF GIVING REFUNDS". Well said, Jimbo, well said. Public relations at its finest.

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 5 months ago

Lew would do himself and KUAC a great service by replacing Marchiony as his spokesperson.He has embarassed KU enough. His way of speaking is hurting KUAC.Get rid of him Lew. Hide in the closet. Shut him up.If you want fans and donors to feel "good" about things you'll consider somebody who has more tact and committment compared to the loud mouth, degrading, mouthpiece currently acting as a spokesperson for a great university.

Michael Leiker 9 years, 5 months ago

I just hope people realize that things have been pretty good in football for about 3 years now, not just one...that facelift should be coming sooner than later.

HawkFanEddie 9 years, 5 months ago

When does Memorial Stadium get a needed facelift???

KU 9 years, 5 months ago

HawkFanEddie......Hopefully after KU experiences about 5 consecutive winning football seasons and the bowl games that go with winning, we'll have the momentum to start thinking about expanding--not just a facelift--Memorial Stadium!

KEITHMILES05 9 years, 5 months ago

Marchiony has a long history since he first step foot on campus of alienating anybody associated with KU. His tactis and antics are of the utmost shame. Obviously you have never paid attention to what comes out of his mouth and how he says things. I have exchanged emails with this jerk and he DEMANDS this and that. Again, I say to Lew get rid of this turd. His manners and professionalism are very lacking and a detriment to KU.

Ryan Gerstner 9 years, 5 months ago

I like Marchiony. Obviously you've never been interviewed by a newspaper. When you're quoted, you don't have a lot of control over the way you're quoted or the context of the way you're quoted. A newspaper can make even the best spokesman sound like a complete idiot if they want to.

kranny 9 years, 5 months ago

Not sure where KeithMiles is coming from but the following were quoted in the article. Sounds pretty cut and dried and status quo to me. "In order to attract the best players and make the best fan experience, we need to get started on this plan as soon as possible," associate athletic director Jim Marchiony said."We feel Allen Fieldhouse is one of, if not the, best college basketball venues in the country. We want to keep it that way," Marchiony said. "In order to attract top-flight players in every sport, we need to make these changes."I don't think we need Winston Churchhill to give the same types of quotes.

Brandon Snook 9 years, 5 months ago

Besides from spearheading the basketball jersey change to the trajan, I think Marchiony is as good an AAC as you're going to find.And now that KU has won a National Championship with the trajan jerseys...I think I'll shut up about that too.

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