Construction on a north end zone expansion starts immediately at Centennial Bank Stadium. The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees held a teleconference to approve the $29 million dollar privately funded project. The Trustees approved ground lease and space lease agreements that will allow for the expansion. The approval by the board gives the green light to the Red Wolves Foundation to facilitate and pay for the construction of the new facility. Arkansas State University System President Dr. Chuck Welch says this was considered today because it was time sensitive:
“The contractor for this project is Ramson’s Construction from Jonesboro and they are wanting to move on this to start this project before the potential for bad winter weather starts,” says Welch. “The goal is to have the premium seating area ready for the next football season.”
The new facility will span over 66-thousand square feet and will be used by all student-athletes. It will include a new weight room, training and rehabilitation areas, academic rooms, meeting rooms, coach’s offices, new locker room areas, and a team-theater meeting area. It will also include space to expand the entire athletics department. It will also have 150 new lodge boxes and 68 new premium seats and well as other enhancements to Centennial Bank Stadium. Dr. Welch says the way these improvements are financed is very similar to how the press box was renovated to Johnny Allison Tower:
“The loan will be secured by the Red Wolves Foundation and they will pledge donations and other funds toward the project, just like what they did during the renovation of the Johnny Allison Tower,” says Welch.
Dr. Welch also praised the fact that no public money is being used for the expansion, which he says will be a huge recruiting tool.
“I visited extensively with Athletic Director Terry Mohajir, Chancellor Dr. Kelly Damphousse, and others when looking at the financials of how to make this work. I am amazed at the fundraising that was done to make this project work. It was outstanding!”
Dr. Chuck Welch. Construction on the north end zone will begin with the premium seating areas with the goal of that seating being ready for the 2018 football season. In other news, the Board of Trustees also approved the refinancing of $12.28 million dollars in housing bonds.