Facilities upgrade proposal finally announced
From cubuffs.com … University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano, Athletic Director Mike Bohn and new head football coach Mike MacIntyre unveiled a $170 million, multi-year proposal to upgrade CU-Boulder’s football facilities before the Intercollegiate Athletics subcommittee of the CU Board of Regents at the board’s monthly meeting here Wednesday in Colorado Springs.
CU will rely on $50 million in private support to execute the project, and a significant effort to raise funds from donors will now begin to support it. In addition, other athletic revenue sources will be used to finance this major initiative.
“This plan represents a carefully conceived, strategic investment in our future in the Pac-12 Conference,” said Bohn. “It will position us to attract the best student-athletes in the nation. It will improve the performance of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom, and it will enhance our fan experience.”
The first element will consist of a new academic center that will boost student-athletes’ already substantial progress in the classroom. The new facility will provide focus for student-athletes by moving study areas to a new complex beneath the east stands, away from the distractions of the Dal Ward Athletic Center. Additionally, as part of the project’s first element, the north side of Folsom Field’s east stands will be supported against the shifting ground beneath it, improving safety for fans and visitors.
The second element will significantly expand Dal Ward to consolidate football operations, bring coaches and student-athletes from a number of sports together, and provide more physical resources for all in one unified space.
The third element of the plan establishes a permanent indoor practice facility adjacent to outdoor practice fields north of Boulder Creek, creating a year-round practice complex, easing traffic congestion off of Arapahoe Avenue with new streets and transportation enhancements, and forming a new plaza-like entrance to campus from the north.
The plan also includes a study to redevelop family housing that now sits west of Folsom Street and south of Arapahoe. The university has for several years been re-envisioning the possibilities of a more modern family housing complex with greater appeal for residents and greater density to make more efficient use of space.
The final element of the football athletics redevelopment project includes redevelopment of the Folsom Field west-side stands.
Future enhancements not included in the initial cost estimate are planned at the Coors Events Center to further improve the student-athlete and fan experience there.
DiStefano heralded the plan, saying it “balances equally our commitment to the academic success of our student-athletes, the comfort and safety of our fans and the long-term success of our combined coaching staffs.” “This affirms our institutional values, and positions us well as we move ahead in the finest conference in the country,” DiStefano added.
CU President Bruce Benson said the project marks a bold new era of partnership with donors, alumni, fans and stakeholders.
“Intercollegiate athletics is the front porch of the university,” said Benson. “This plan will help bring people from across Colorado and around the country together in support of CU, and it will challenge all of us as donors, alumni and fans to work together to make this vision a reality.”
MacIntyre said the support from every level of the university – from fans and donors to the athletic director, the chancellor and the president – was gratifying to him and to CU’s other coaches and players.
“This is a strong commitment to success by the president, the chancellor and the university as a whole,” said MacIntyre. “These facilities will represent to our current and future players the dual commitments to excellence, and to be successful year-in and year-out, at the University of Colorado. The entire university community wants to sustain excellence in everything we do, and at the same time, keep moving forward. This commitment represents both of these desires.”
Here is a link to the pdf file showing the map and the outlines of the proposed upgrades.
Additional info … from the Daily Camera …
No tuition, student fees or state funding would be used to fund the project. It will be paid for entirely through private fundraising and money the athletic department earns through television contracts and future revenue from the Pac-12 Network.
Regents seemed to respond favorably to the presentation. The board won’t have to approve anything until a program plan is completed, which the school hopes to do by December. It’s likely the project will be brought before the board in stages as funding becomes available.
“It is my sense that the board, without exception, would like to see us push the envelope on this as much as we can,” regent Jim Geddes (R) Salida said.
Coach Mike MacIntyre also participated in the briefing telling the board it is important to move forward as soon as possible. MacIntyre referred the board to competitors around the Pac-12 Conference who have either recently completed major facilities upgrades or are in the process of doing so. He specifically mentioned USC, California, Arizona and Washington.
“Our facility is good, but to do what we want to do consistently and what you all want to do, we’ve got to do something,” MacIntyre said. “We’re going to give everything we have on the field and we’re going to improve and we’re going to keep getting better, but to do what we want to do … all of this has to start moving forward and to be frank with you, it has to start moving forward pretty fast.”