Progress at 11th and Mississippi

An inside look the construction plans for the generational Gateway District and reimagined David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Jason Brown has worked for Turner Construction Company for 18-plus years and has been assigned to countless projects.

One would think during his time with the country’s largest domestic contractor that he’s pretty much seen it all. And he probably thought he had – until he saw the blueprints for the Gateway District and the reimagined David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium.

“When I saw the initial renderings–this stadium looks like nothing I’ve ever seen at any other stadium,” said Brown, a project executive, serving as a key cog for the project with Turner.

Now, more than seven months after Brown saw the renderings, he, along with anyone else who drives by 11th and Mississippi streets, are seeing real, tangible progress on the project that is set to transform the University of Kansas and Lawrence.

“What people won’t understand is how fast paced this project is,” said Emily Louchart, director of design, interiors, for architecture firm, HNTB. “Beyond the renderings, it becomes really real when everything becomes demoed and you’re like, ‘alright, we’re in; this is happening.”

So, what exactly is happening at 11th and Mississippi?

Since beginning construction at the completion of the 2023 KU football season, construction crews have finished the demolition of the old David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, and have completed all 312 drilled concrete piers for deep foundation for the stadium and conference center.

Crews are currently two-thirds complete with all building foundations and expect to be finished with the underground electrical and plumbing for the stadium and conference center by the end of this month.

Today, with the first sequences of structural steel on site, building erection will officially begin, along with vertical construction for the stadium and conference center.

“We’re changing the horizon. We’re changing the landscape. This facility, the Gateway District and David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium, will now have this incredible impact on the horizon on the visual representation of excellence at KU. I think from a design perspective, I think the architects and project team have nailed it. We said it should be unlike anything else in the country. We did not want to see elements of cut and paste here in Lawrence, Kansas. When they started to present the concepts on design, it resonated from day one.”

Director of Athletics, Travis Goff

Of course, it’s not just the Gateway District and football stadium undergoing major transformation. The team’s operational home, Anderson Family Football Complex, is also undergoing major upgrades that will be completed prior to this upcoming season for the program to use.

The renovations on the facility are moving forward as scheduled as crews have completed the framing and drywall work for the interior walls at Anderson. Interior finishes for the facility began earlier this week and crews are now preparing the hydrotherapy and recovery areas for pools in Anderson, while meeting rooms and football offices are nearly ready for paint and flooring.

“When it’s completed, what does it mean for the program? It means they will have what we think will be one of the best operations buildings in the country in Anderson,” Goff said. “More importantly than any of that stuff, how does it impact the day-to-day of our football student-athletes? Nutrition, the dining facility on the west side of the stadium, one of the best sports performance centers, the locker room – it will all have a profound impact.”

It has been a smooth start to the construction process, in large part because of the collaboration taking place between Kansas Athletics, Turner Construction and design firms, HNTB and Multistudio. When making selections on project partners, Goff and Kansas understood how important synergy and effectiveness would be between all the partners and knew they had the right fit with the companies they selected.

Throughout the project, with Legends leading the charge as the owners representative, all parties have been on the same page as critical decisions are being made daily. Not only will David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium instantly become one of the most innovative college stadiums in the country, a state-of-the-art conference center will be attached to the north end zone of the stadium and will be managed by the Oak View Group (OVG) as announced last week.

“There’s daily meetings; 20-30 different meetings every single day between subcontractors, our design team, our consultant team members,” said Gerardo Prado, National Sports Practice Leader/Vice President for HNTB.

Added John Wilkins, Principal for Multistudio: “The documents you put together for a facility like this are going to be in the thousands. You’re constantly making changes. There are tens of thousands of decisions that go into a facility like this.”

KU fans can follow the progress of the project by visiting to view all new renderings, live cams, sign up to be a project insider and more. Fans can also learn more about premium seating options in the Limestone Club and Jayhawk Club beginning May 1 and can click here for an interest form.

With all parties aligned, now is the time for more transformational change at 11th and Mississippi.

“We are making as tangible of a statement as you can possibly make for a new future for KU,” Goff said.