Letter from A.D. John Currie - October 31

You may have also noticed that construction trailers have mobilized next to the Vanier Football Complex, another sign of the tremendous progress made on the path to building a new future for the north end of Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Due to great collaboration with our construction partners - world-renown architects from Populous, along with contractors Mortenson and GE Johnson - we remain on schedule to complete construction of the VFC by August 2015. We are very appreciative of the patience of Coach Snyder, and our football, sports medicine, equipment, strength, and academic staffs as our transition team plans the temporary accommodations to enable us to serve K-State student-athletes during the construction period.On a daily basis we witness the impact our new Ahearn Fund Student-Athlete Performance Table in the West Stadium Center has had on the experience of our student-athletes, which gets us even more excited to take another transformational step forward with the new Vanier Football Complex. The VFC will feature more than twice as much Academic Learning Center space, as well as provide an enclosed connection to the Performance Table.The massive new Strength & Conditioning Center will provide a more efficient space for student-athletes from multiple sports to train as well as a dramatic visual improvement as evidenced by an increase from nine-foot ceilings in our current facility to 30-foot ceilings in the new venue. This theme of high ceilings and open spaces will be carried throughout the venue as we grow from a two-story building to a four-story complex.Inside Bill Snyder Family Stadium, the newly enclosed seating bowl will improve the grass roots family seating experience and bring an even louder and more intimidating home field advantage. Fans throughout the entire stadium will benefit as we finally remove the "mini-tron" (as we affectionately call it in the Athletics Department) and replace it with a new high-definition video board in the northwest corner that will be larger than the current south end board. Finally, the pride we will all feel as we approach Kimball Avenue and see the K-State limestone and the level of finish you helped establish with the WSC will shape the first impression for K-State recruits for years to come.Please click here for the latest plans and images provided by the architects at Populous!As we complete the final construction bid packages and settle on a Guaranteed Maximum Price with Mortenson and GE Johnson, we are reminded on a daily basis of our total project budget - currently projected to be $69 million including all equipment and technology. As you may know, consistent with our commitment to fiscal responsibility, we do not plan additional long-term debt with this project. In fact, our staff is working harder than ever to remain below our current fiscal year operations budget so we can complete the VFC in the same first-class manner you have helped establish with the Basketball Training Facility, WSC and Intercollegiate Rowing Center, among other projects.Still, in order to properly complete this project and do it right, we need to achieve our Vanier Football Challenge Campaign goal of $50 million in philanthropic support. I am very excited to announce to you today that we have currently achieved an important milestone of more than $45 million in gifts and pledges! As you can see, we have tremendous momentum in our campaign, and we are so grateful for the investments of all of these great K-Staters into the future of K-State Football. Please know that we are working hard to achieve both our campaign goal and to design and build a facility that all K-Staters will be proud of for generations to come. As we move into the latter stages of the campaign and construction planning, the winning-edge difference will come in the quality and finishes of this transformational facility. Just as we did with the BTF and WSC we want the finishes of this facility to visually speak to K-State's determination to be at the forefront of the intercollegiate athletics landscape.The Vanier Football Complex will be funded completely by private capital gift donations and additional athletics department revenue to ensure we maintain our level of fiscal responsibility. For those wanting to get involved or support the Vanier Football Complex project, the best way to do so is to join the Ahearn Fund, K-State's National Fund for Student-Athlete Excellence. The Ahearn Fund not only supports scholarships for our 458 student-athletes, but also provides critical funding in areas such as sports medicine and academics, as well as capital for this transformational facility.  If you are already a member, thank you! If not, please click here to learn more about how you can support this project and K-State's student-athletes.In the coming weeks, please look for a series of special announcements recognizing our leadership contributors to the Vanier Football Challenge Campaign. We owe these K-Staters a great deal of gratitude for believing in the vision of this transformational project and the impact it will have on all K-State student-athletes for decades to come.We also look forward to having you join us as we celebrate their generosity at a special groundbreaking ceremony during the K-State vs. KU football game on Saturday, November 29, giving us just eight months for completion by August, 2015. While this is another aggressive and challenging schedule, I'm confident that with hard work and dedication to making progress every day, we have the right team in place to make it happen.I am very grateful for the support of the K-State nation as we endeavor together to honor what Coach Snyder, the Vanier family, and many others have done to complete a successful VFC through the Vanier Football Challenge campaign. Let's Finish! and.....Go Cats!John