Colorado State's Governors Board Green Lights On-Campus Stadium
After a two month extension, almost three years of deliberation and a long-coming recommendation from the university's president, Colorado State University’s Board of Governors gave the final nod to build an on-campus stadium.
CSU’s Board of Governors voted 8-0 to allow President Tony Frank to finalize the details for financing and constructing a multi-use on-campus stadium.
“I personally believe the benefits far outweigh the costs,” said CSU Board of Governors Secretary Scott Johnson. “This does nothing but increase the positive atmosphere on campus.”
But Board of Governors Treasurer Joseph Zimlick, who abstained from voting, said the financial risk wasn’t worth the reward.
“In my personal assessment…I believe there is a risk to the students that I’m not sure I’m comfortable taking,” he said.
Non-voting student and faculty representatives on the Board also stated concern.
“I think we’re concerned not only about the stadium itself but also athletic spending,” said Faculty Representative Alexandra Bernasek, referring to worries that investing in a stadium would result in more CSU dollars going into university athletics.
CSU Chancellor Michael Martin said athletics and education can co-exist.
“There is no conflict between great athletics and great academics,” he said.
The Board came to its decision Dec. 5 after two hours of public testimony, discussion and remarks from Frank.
In his remarks at the meeting, Frank indicated he was most interested in working up a plan to build the full 41,200 seat stadium and funding the project through issuing revenue bonds—as opposed to a public-private partnership.
The project will replace Hughes, which has a minimum price tag of repairs starting at $30 million, according to university estimates.
The news comes the same week that CSU’s head football coach, Jim McElwain, was recruited by the University of Florida.
I am excited and honored to be the head football coach for the University of Florida, but will carry the Rams with me forever. (3/3)— Jim McElwain (@CoachMcElwain) December 4, 2014
CSU’s offensive coordinator will serve as interim head coach until the university replaces McElwain.
In the earliest timeline estimate, stadium construction will be complete in fall 2017.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to clarify which version of the stadium project CSU President Tony Frank plans to pursue. Frank will work up financing details in the coming months on the full 41,200 seat version of the stadium, as opposed to the reduced size 36,000 seat stadium.