Athletics, recreational projects move forward
Nearly $22 million worth of new construction and renovations on Missouri State University’s athletics and recreational facilities will begin soon and be completed by fall 2014. Today (Dec. 4) Missouri State’s Board of Governors Executive Committee awarded a contract to DeWitt and Associates, Inc., to begin the work.
DeWitt had the low bid in the amount of $21,824,600 for improvements to the athletics and recreation fields on the Springfield campus, all of which will be available for student recreation, intramural and intercollegiate athletics use. With all fees and contingencies, the total project budget is $25,097,000.
The project will be funded by the 2014 Auxiliary Enterprise Revenue Bonds to be issued in February 2014. The revenue stream to repay the bonds will be from the student-approved Bears Experience and Recreation (B.E.A.R.) Fee, central funding, a private gift commitment and auxiliary bond payments that roll off and will be redirected in 2017. Additional private gifts are expected in the future for naming opportunities.
“We are able to take this step because of our students,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “They had the vision; they took the initiative and they approved a fee that will cover the vast majority of this work. From a university standpoint, I think these facilities can be a game-changer for how the university is viewed, in its appeal to students, and for the success of our students and athletic teams. This is a great day.”
The project includes improvements at four different areas on campus. The largest of the improvements occurs at Plaster Sports Complex where the existing student seating on the east side of the stadium will be removed and replaced with a new 4,000 seat precast concrete structure. This improvement will include a raised patio in the grandstand to serve the students, new concessions, restrooms and ticket windows. As part of the structure, a new game day meeting room for the football team will be constructed as well as a visitor’s locker room. The existing football field will be removed and moved slightly to the west closer to the west bleachers in an effort to improve the fan experience.
The existing field north of Glass Hall will be developed into a NCAA regulation soccer field which will be surrounded by a new synthetic track. Field events will be located at the south of this new field and track. In addition, a 1,000 seat grandstand with restrooms, locker rooms and press box will be located on the west side of the improvement. A new field hockey and lacrosse field will also be constructed north of Hammons Student Center. This regulation field will support the field hockey program and includes a small grandstand, restrooms and a press box.
Finally, the project includes a pair of sand volleyball courts at the southwest corner of Hammons Student Center. This improvement will also include a press box and an informal seating berm along the courts. Each court will have its own scoreboard and the area will be entirely fenced. The fields at the soccer complex, the field hockey complex and the volleyball complex will be secured to allow students access to the fields using their BearPass card.
About the B.E.A.R. Fee
Missouri State University students passed the B.E.A.R. Fee of $50 per semester to help provide new and renovated athletics and recreational facilities on the Springfield campus. The fee will generate approximately $1.6 million annually. Of that total, $200,000 annually will be used to enhance the student experience at athletic events through the creation of a student experience fund. Students will not pay the fee until the projects are completed.
Since the project will commence during December 2013, the President’s Program Enhancement budget will advance funds for construction costs up until bond proceeds are deposited into the Athletic and Recreation Fields account. The amount of funds advanced from the President’s Program Enhancement budget will be returned from the bond proceeds.