Letter from A.D. John Currie - April 26

The current Vanier Complex, which houses both our football and Academic Services operations, has served our program well, with around eight renovations and additions since its original construction in 1968. It is time for a major upgrade to better position not only the football program, but also enhance the experience of all 450 of our student-athletes in our 16 sports whose scholastic and athletic pursuits are supported from the Academic Learning Center, sports medicine, strength and conditioning and equipment infrastructure located in the north end zone.  Every Big 12 school and most other colleges have made huge recent investments in these areas.But these improvements will not just benefit Wildcat student-athletes. K-State's fan support spans the economic spectrum of Kansas - our fervent grass-roots fan base has always been a huge factor in the growth of the program.And, we are committed to improving the family-friendly environment in the north end of the stadium which has become one of the signature elements of Saturday game-days at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Seeing our fans slap hands with players and coaches as they come down the ramp or head to the locker room after another victory showcases the family connection of our teams with the K-State Nation. The generosity our fans have shown these past 24 months has been humbling, and the lead fundraising response we have received thus far has been even more exciting, including the single largest gift in the history of Kansas State University by Jack, Donna, Marty, John and Mary Vanier. This new facility and seating enhancements will show that we are fully committed to furthering our position as a leader at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics as well as playing a contributing role to the tremendous progress President Schulz and our campus community have made with several recent construction projects towards the K-State 2025 goal of becoming a Top 50 public research institution.The project will be led by the world-renowned sports design firm Populous in conjunction with the Construction Management team of Mortenson & GE Johnson Construction.  With continued momentum in the funding campaign, K-State's goal is to break ground following the 2014 football season with an estimated substantial completion of the Vanier Football Complex and North Stadium seating area in time for the 2015 season.  Additional plans call for construction of a structure on the northeast side of the new facility by either the 2016 or 2017 season, which would house visiting team locker, training and officials areas, plus additional office space as well as a new video board on the northeast end of the stadium, which will mirror the new board that will immediately go up on the northwest side of the stadium.While more than half of the $65 million in necessary funding has already been secured, it is imperative that Wildcat fans continue to contribute, at any level, and be a part of the Vanier Football Challenge campaign to help K-State remain a national leader in college athletics. The funding plan currently calls for $50 million to be privately funded through philanthropic giving with the remaining $15 million coming from other department revenues. No tax or tuition dollars will be used!Thanks to the amazing generosity of the Vanier family and many other K-State leaders, we have incredible momentum leading into this public phase of our campaign. In addition, we as an Athletics Department plan to tighten our belt even further for the next couple of years and put all we can into making this the best facility of its kind in the country, but we still need your help. To use a sports analogy, we are set up for the game-winning score and we need the Wildcat Nation to be a part of the winning drive for K-State's future. Let's take this step forward together with the Vanier Football Challenge and continue to show that K-State Athletics is committed to competing not only in the Big 12 Conference but at the highest level of all of intercollegiate athletics.Be sure and check out the latest photos, videos and information on the project (click here) as well as information on how to contribute and let us know what you think! Thanks again for your support of K-State student-athletes and Go Cats!John