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Originally published April 18, 2018 at 11:28a.m., updated April 18, 2018 at 12:05p.m.

Work begins on KU football’s indoor practice facility; project to be completed by end of year

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the northeast looking southwest.

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the northeast looking southwest.

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Construction work is underway on the new $26 million indoor practice facility for the University of Kansas football team, with the project expected to be completed before the end of the year.

KU Director of Facilities Planning and Development Mark Reiske provided an update on the project to the Lawrence City Commission at its meeting Tuesday night. Reiske said that construction teams started mobilizing this week and that some fencing was going up. He said utility locator services have begun, with excavation and construction to follow in the next couple of weeks. The premanufactured metal building will be brought to the site in large segments, he said.

KU previously told the Journal-World that excavation for the facility, which will be built west of Memorial Stadium, will require that around 80,000 to 90,000 cubic yards of dirt be hauled off the site. Reiske provided to the commission routes for the project, which he said would be used first to haul the soil away and then to bring the building segments and other materials to the site. He said residents of surrounding neighborhoods have been notified of the project schedule and the truck routes.

Reiske said for most of the project, trucks will use Fambrough Drive, Mississippi Street, Ninth Street and Iowa Street. At some point, he said the upcoming Fambrough Drive and West 11th Street realignment project will require trucks to use Maine Street in lieu of Mississippi Street.

Commissioner Jennifer Ananda asked Reiske about potentially displacing student parking in the neighborhoods, as the project will eliminate some spaces. Reiske said that even on KU’s heaviest class schedule day, the lots affected don’t fill. He said the plan is to add back parking west of the indoor practice facility, or higher up the hill, at a later time but that right now that is not part of the budget.

The 89,000-square-foot indoor facility is scheduled to be completed in late fall, according to a news release from KU. Athletic Director Sheahon Zenger said in the release that the state-of-the-art facility is necessary to enable KU’s football program to compete successfully in the Big 12 Conference.

This rendering shows the interior design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility.

This rendering shows the interior design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility.

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the southeast looking northwest.

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the southeast looking northwest.

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the northeast looking southwest.

This rendering shows the design for a new $26 million University of Kansas indoor football practice facility, as seen from the northeast looking southwest.

Comments

[''] 1 year ago

Beautiful photos. None of this will matter with the worst home Power 5 football attendance in the nation. Duke (a basketball school like KU) only has 6600 students so you can excuse their abysmal attendance. Kentucky (another basketball school) got 36,000 to their spring game. That is 10,000 more fans/game than what showed up to KU's actual football games in 2017 (26,000).

Kudos for these beautiful structures and fancy locker rooms while we break records under 10-72 Zenger, 3-33 Beaty and their NCAA-worst 46 consecutive road losing streak.

Bryson Stricker 1 year ago

That bad boy gonna look sick. All I got to say about that.

Ken Schmidt 1 year ago

I am pretty sure you have southeast and northwest mixed in your image descriptions. You can tell it isn't correct by viewing how the hill ascends and what buildings are in the backgrounds of the sketch.

Kevin Robert Fest 1 year ago

With the record as bad as it is the program is lucky to have the administration and donors approve this. Regardless of the record the program still needs this from a practicality standpoint. The administration could have just wanted to focus on other things. With the practice facility, stadium, locker room, weight room things still need to get upgraded regardless of record.

Phil Leister 1 year ago

The new coach next year is gonna love this!

Chris Johnson 1 year ago

Maine St. should not be approved for use by large dump trucks or other large hauling vehicles. It's not wide enough with cars parked on the street. It's barely wide enough now for two cars to pass each other.

Marcus Balzer 1 year ago

26 million dollar project. Kudos to the folks in the Athletic Dept who raised that money. That is impressive to secure the funds for this project for a football team that hasn't had success since 2009.

Tony Bandle 1 year ago

Now all we will need is to find some football players who know how to play, some coaches who know how to coach and some fans who actually give a rat's ass about this program that has sunk to levels past disgraceful!

Luckily, due to the lack of attendance, Parking Lot 59 is now available.

Thomas Green 1 year ago

Obviously these facilities and stadium renovations are way overdue, but so is a certain Athletic Directors tenure. As others have mentioned, the new coach is going really appreciate these additions. I just hope the new AD appreciates them as well!

Laura Green 1 year ago

It's too bad the university can not invest that kind of money in the buildings they require their staff to work in. Carruth O'Leary is full of rodents, bugs, mold, broken windows, smelly carpets, filthy hallways, and occasionally birds. The conditions are terrible. Yet, KU houses hundreds of staff members who make a valuable contibution to the functioning of the university in this type of aging facility all the while spending millions of dollars next door. Shameful!

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