Location Determined for New Kansas Football Facility and Practice Fields

May 12, 2006

LAWRENCE, Kan. – The new football facility on the University of Kansas campus will be sited southwest of Memorial Stadium and two new practice fields will be southeast of the stadium, according to a site map released today.

“Locating the facility southwest of the stadium will protect views of Campanile Hill from the stadium and will not interfere with the KU graduation tradition of walking down the hill to Memorial Stadium,” said Chancellor Robert Hemenway.

The stand-alone, 80,000 square-foot football facility is the state-of-the-art centerpiece of a $31 million football complex project, which also includes construction of the two practice fields and additional parking.

The football facility will consist of two levels, with only the upper level above ground. The building will not connect to or abut the stadium. The lower, underground level will house the football training area, locker rooms, and related facilities. The upper level will house athletics administrative offices and support services.

The two 100-yard practice fields will be located southeast of the stadium, between it and the Kansas Union, on a site that is currently part of existing asphalt parking lots (yellow-permit lots Nos. 92, 93, and 91).

Because practice fields will displace parking spaces, the first stage of the project will be to build replacement parking.

“We cannot diminish parking availability either during or after completion of this project,” said Hemenway. “We will replace every parking space displaced by the new practice fields.”

To recover the displaced parking spaces, plans call for expanding an existing surface parking lot immediately west of the stadium. The layout of the expanded lot will be determined once survey and initial design work are completed.

Design work on the parking expansion is scheduled for completion no later than December 2006, and construction will begin in spring 2007. Work on the practice fields should begin in summer 2007 and be completed by fall 2007. Football facility construction should begin no later than spring 2007 and be completed by summer 2008.

The university is notifying the City of Lawrence that it will appoint an Ad Hoc Community Advisory Committee to advise the university on the practice field and parking lot expansion projects, both of which are within 150 feet of the university’s perimeter. The committee will be appointed once the site survey determines a feasible location for the replacement parking.

Because the practice fields fall within 500 feet of the historic environs of the Hancock District and Snow residence, the practice fields project will be reviewed by the university’s Campus Historic Preservation Board and then by the Lawrence Historic Resources Commission for review, consistent with the University’s historic preservation agreement with the City.

A KU building committee is working with HNTB Architecture of Kansas City, Mo., on the football facility building design.

Members of the football facility building committee are Warren Corman, university architect; Jim Modig, director, KU Design Construction and Management; Mark Reiske, associate director, Design Construction and Management; Sean Lester, associate athletics director; Brad Nachtigal, assistant athletics director for facilities planning; Bill Dickerson, assistant athletics director for operations and events; George Matsakis, director, Football Operations; and architects from HNTB, led by KU alumni Marty Haynes and Gerardo Prado.