CSC unveils plan for Sports Complex
A remodeled stadium, updated press box, renovated field, and construction of an outdoor track are in the future for CSC’s sports department.
The Chadron State College Sports Complex will cost a total of $11.1 million, but $8.6 million has been secured, CSC President Randy Rhine said at a press conference Wednesday in the Chicoine Center.
The conference focused mainly on phase one of the Sports Complex project, which includes the stadium, press box, and field renovations. The second phase will create an outdoor track for the track and field team.
In 2014, a structural engineering company—Hermanson Egge Engineering, of Rapid City, South Dakota—inspected the Don Beebe Stadium and found that the structural integrity of central stands were failing. There were concerns with the poor drainage, deteriorating field conditions and inadequate services for spectators and game personnel, Rhine said.
Phase one of the Sports Complex seeks to fix those issues.
BVH Architecture, of Lincoln, put the designs for the renovations together. BVH also designed the Eagle Ridge buildings and Rangeland Complex on campus.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction, of Minneapolis, will construct the project.
The project received $6.2 million through the Nebraska Legislative bill 957. The $2.3 million came from a combination of different sources, Rhine said. He noted the CSC foundation office, other cash set aside, and donors contributed to the project. He said the project received $300,000 from the State Colleges Sports Facility Cash Fund.
In the 102nd Nebraska Legislative Session, LB 969 was created. The State Colleges Sports Facilities Cash Fund was part of that bill, which created funds that the Nebraska State College System Board of Trustees would administer to help finance renovations or construction of intercollegiate athletic, student fitness, recreation, or sports facilities at the state college. The bill stated that on Oct. 1 of 2012, 2013, and 2014, $250,000 would be transferred from the Civic and Community Financing Fund each year to the Sports Facilities Cash Fund. In 2015, the amount was to increase to $400,000 each year. Any revenue gained through gifts, grants, bequests, donations, and other contributions would also go into the Sports Facilities Cash Fund.
Rhine said the college expects to receive $600,000 more over the next two years for this project from that fund. He said that money would be earmarked specifically for the track project.
“We feel pretty good about that money coming to us right now, but anything can happen,” Rhine said about potential budget cuts from the Nebraska Legislature and governor.
There is still $2.5 million needed for the overall project.
Rhine said he does not expect any more bond money to come in for the project and will focus more on the private sector for the rest of the funds.
Connie Rasmussen, Chadron State foundation executive director, said the foundation committed to giving $1 million, but said the foundation will give more if they can.
“We are talking about it (raising money) every day and working on it every day,” Rasmussen said.
This project is set to begin demolition Nov. 13, 2017, which is the Monday after the final home game of the 2017 football season. The project will work through the summer to be completed for the 2018 season. The field and stadium were built in 1929, and the last time the Con Marshall Press Box was renovated was in 1998.
“The rebuild provides four fundamental and essential improvements to the stadium complex,” Athletic Director Joel Smith said at Wednesday’s press conference.
The field will shift slightly to the south of where it sits now to accommodate for visitor stands, Smith said.
The stadium and press box will also move to the south in response. This will require remodeling of the parking lot to allow for the move, Smith said.
Don Beebe Stadium will be updated to a two-level facility. The lower level of the stadium will feature better, larger concession stands, and bathrooms for spectators. There will be expanded seating for spectators as well.
The second level will be for the updated Con Marshall Press Box that will feature updated technology and space for modern media. Smith said there will be room for proper broadcast. There will be a hospitality center in the middle of the second level for booster, alumni, and other supporters of CSC.
Elliott Field will be converted to a turf surface to allow year-round use.
Head Football Coach Jay Long reminded those at the press conference that the weight room, training room, and locker room for players were updated in 2011, and in the last five years, six of the 11 RMAC schools have updated their stadiums. He said most of the prior stadiums at those schools were superior to CSC’s. He said he is excited for the change and to give future generations of Eagle football players the chance to make memories on an incredible field.
Head Track and Field Coach Brad Gamble noted his track and field team has earned great success especially in the past two years, despite not having their own outdoor track. He said CSC is the only RMAC school without a track and it is a hurdle the team has to cross in terms of recruiting, practicing, and even team continuity. An outdoor track will be added as part of phase two of this project upon acquiring the remaining funds.