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Press Conference Quotes


GO WILDCATS
GO WILDCATS

GO WILDCATS

April 26, 2014

Athletics Director John Currie
Opening Statement…
“Obviously, today is a historic day in K-State athletics’ history as we unveil the new plan for what is third phase in the Bill Snyder Family Stadium Master Plan and the new Vanier Football Complex. This has been a day that has been a long time in coming and it is a huge step forward for us. It represents another sign of Kansas State University and Kansas State Athletics’ commitment to be among the top echelon collegiate athletics. We certainly made progress over the last five years. We have completed $125 million in new facility construction for all 16 of our sports and over 400 of our student athletes. We are very proud of the progress we have made, but it has really happened with the support of K-Staters nationally and worldwide. One of the elements of intercollegiate athletics that we need to remember in these days and times is even as television revenues and things like that have increased, if you look at Kansas State’s athletic budget, over half of our dollars annually come from gifts and ticket purchases. As I tell our folks, those people can decide not to do that at any time they want to. There is no obligation or entitlement to the university to those dollars. That is a significant thing that we always remember. In this building in this next phase of our project, we are really focused on two critical things. Number one, it is our student-athlete experience and the experience of all student-athletes at K-State. And then it is that grassroots tradition that Kansas State has – the fan bases that crosses all socioeconomic spectors of this state and across the country with season ticket holders in 46 states. One of the things we won’t be doing in this particular phase is adding suits and club seating and luxury seating. We are going to keep that same family, grassroots sections that we have had in the end seasons that have become one of the calling cards of the Kansas State football experience. I want to thank all of the folks, especially President (Kirk) Schulz who has continued to challenge the university academically and athletically to take those next steps forward towards the K-State 2025 goal of being one of America’s top 50 public research universities. I want to thank our whole athletic department senior staff and our entire athletic department staff who have moved forward very rapidly over the last few years. We took our first master plan trip in the spring of 2010 and Ben Stindt from Populous was on that trip. We went to four or five different facilities with a couple of guests, but we were just trying to start gathering the vision. At that time, Nebraska was still in the Big 12 and it was just a really different world. We persevered throughout that time of uncertainty and emerged with a really solid plan having shown some accomplishments in that process and I appreciate all the fans in helping us do that. There will be no tax dollars or university funds going into this project, just like there have not been any tax dollars or university funds in the last $125 million of athletics’ projects. Of course, there are many economic benefits of this project to the university, community and state with construction and what that brings into our local economy. Ultimately, all of those dollars we have generated over the last few years have been pushed back into student-athlete experience and this facility will certainly provide that.”

On facility use during Vanier construction…
“It will be a challenge, a logistical challenge. That is one of the reasons that we have worked hard to compress this construction schedule into one offseason. We will have a groundbreaking ceremony prior to the KU football game, right after Thanksgiving and then the next week after the equipment truck leaves and our team leaves to fly to Baylor, the movers will descend. We will move everything out of that building and knock it down shortly thereafter and then we will be back in it in August. As we have geared up over the last number of years, the plan has been to add capacity in square footage – swing space if you will. So as we added square footage with the Basketball Training Facility with its very advanced sports medicine, hydrotherapy, weight room and such, that has freed up other space in our facilities. This building will be utilized on a day-to-day basis with coaching offices and another level serving as our Academic Learning Center. We will utilize our Indoor Facility and Bramlage (Coliseum) because once our basketball season ends, we can really set up a weight room in Bramlage on the floor because now that we have a Basketball Training Facility we have the flexibility to not have to use Bramlage. Bramlage will serve as our, during the summer training period, as our strength and conditioning center.”

On the northeast corner’s later addition…
“The [northeast corner] will come in a succeeding year. That is mainly due to constructability issues. There is a great deal of work and below ground work. Remember, with this facility in the West Stadium Center, we started in the summer of 2012. All of that fall, we had about four or five months, we had time to do the loading dock and excavations. We had steel coming out of the ground those last three or four games, so this project was really stretched over 12 months. Being able to focus on this part of the building and come back and do this one later will help in the constructability part of this project. I should add from a fiscal transparency standpoint that this will be additional dollars beyond the $65 million we have allocated for this project.”