Rowing Breaks Ground on Six Million Dollar Boathouse

March 7, 2008


– Kansas Rowing broke ground on a new six million dollar boathouse on Friday afternoon at Burcham Park along the Kansas River. The 16,000 square foot Boathouse will provide the University of Kansas Rowing team with a base of operations. Kansas University Chancellor Robert Hemenway, Kansas Athletics Director Lew Perkins, Lawrence City Mayor Sue Hack and Rowing Head Coach Rob Catloth were among the dignitaries breaking ground at the ceremony.

“This is a tribute to people that believe that rowing is going to be an important part of the athletic future at the University of Kansas,” said Hemenway. “The best way for us to show that is to build a boathouse and make sure that their facilities correspond with the facilities for the other sports at KU.”

The building will house rowing shells on the lower level, with one bay of storage equipped for shell maintenance and repair. The upper level will include the locker room space for the Varsity Rowing Team as well locker rooms for the club rowing teams and athletic training space. A study room will also be available to the team.

The highlight of the Boathouse will be the Team Room. The multi-functional 2,000 square foot space will provide the team a place to congregate and build team camaraderie.

“I want to thank everybody in the city and the community that has contributed (to this project),” said Perkins. “I want to thank our student athletes and our students who passed the referendum. This has truly been a community project and one that when it’s over, will make everyone so pleased and happy (with the Boathouse).”

The building has been designed to be environmentally sensitive to the site and will be nestled into the cottonwood trees along the river at the north end of Burcham Park. The Boathouse has been specially designed to be able to withstand a flood event up to eight feet above the lower floor level.

“We want to thank most of all the student body at the University of Kansas,” said Catloth. “This day is for the over 4,000 Kansas students that have rowed on this river over the past 30 years.”

Treanor Architects of Lawrence and Peterson Architects of Cambridge, Mass., have been hired by Kansas Athletics to design the facility. First Management, Inc., will construct the student-funded facility.

The Boathouse will be open for use in the Spring of 2009. The University of Kansas Rowing team will open its 2008 season at Tulsa University on March 22.