$143 million athletic facilities project to break ground May 12

General view of Folsom Field looking east before the game between Colorado and Oregon at Folsom Field, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)
Folsom Field looking east before the game between Colorado and Oregon on Oct. 5, 2013. The CU athletic department plans to upgrade the athletic facilities in May, including Folsom Field, Dal Ward Athletics Center and Franklin Field. (Kai Casey/CU Independent)

After seven months of fundraising efforts from athletic director Rick George and staff, the University of Colorado athletic department released plans to break ground and begin a $143 million facility upgrade project. May 12, 2014 will mark the start of the upgrade, and the majority of construction is projected to finish before the 2015 football season.

According to David Plati, CU athletics sports information director, the project will not require the use of tuition money or tax dollars. The CU board of regents’ approval came in December 2013 with the condition that one-third of funds be privately raised. Rick George set a $47.6 million goal and expects to reach that goal in the very near future. The balance from the project will come from bonds.

The construction will displace a few campus facilities, including the Campus Recycling Center and Facilities Management Outdoor Services. Permanent facilities are set to be built in new locations, although both organizations will use temporary sites starting in May.

Acquiring Franklin Field from the CU Student Government required some compromises that will benefit recreational and club sports. In exchange for Franklin, CUSG gets rights to the sand-based practice fields just north of Folsom Field, as well as the seasonal practice bubble. The second and final vote to approve the field swap is on the agenda for CUSG Legislative Council’s meeting Thursday, April 17.

The following list includes all the proposed facilities, as listed in a CU sports information office press release:

  • Construction of a 120,000-square-foot indoor multipurpose practice facility on top of Franklin Field, to include a 100-yard artificial turf football field and a six-lane, 300-meter track;
  • Refurbishment of the Dal Ward Athletics Center, completed in 1991, to include an Olympic sports strength training room in the sub-basement level and new locker rooms and an equipment room on the field level;
  • Redesigning of Dal Ward’s first floor for the expansion of an Olympic sports/sports medicine complex, a leadership development center and an end zone club with club seating and loge boxes;
  • Transforming the second floor of Dal Ward to triple the athletic department’s academic support system from its current 5,000 square feet to 15,000 square feet;
  • Building additional restrooms and concession areas on the east side of Folsom Field;
  • Adding a 21,900-square-foot high performance sports center on the northeast corner of the stadium, as well as a rooftop terrace, and converting the south offices at Folsom Field to retail space. The rooftop terrace will generate revenue by being available for rent for non-gameday events. The high-performance sports center will host collaborative research conducted by CU-Boulder integrative physiology faculty and researchers at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus.

An official announcement will be issued during the spring football game Saturday, April 12. The halftime presentation will include CU President Bruce Benson, Chancellor Phil DiStephano and Rick George. The Black and Gold game kicks off at 12:07 p.m.

Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Jordyn Siemens at Jordyn.siemens@colorado.edu. 

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