Oregon St. Athletic Director Bob DeCarolis, with help from Mike Goodwin, the Director of the OSU Foundation, and Oregon St. University President Ed Ray gave an update on the project to renovate the Valley Football Center today.
And thanks to Pres. Ray, a [very] brief update on the search for a new head football coach "We are searching." (Despite not planning to discuss the lack of a 64,000 lb. gorilla of a coach in the room, the question still came up.)
(More on that in a few moments.)
"Victory Through Valley" is the campaign name for this piece of what DeCarolis called a series of "Best in class facilities projects", which included "Raising Reser".
Many of the details of the previously announced project were already known, but there were some updates.
To recap, the University has about $25 million of the $42 million project on hand, and will engage a design contractor by the end of the calendar year, with plans to begin demolishing the northwest endzone seating and much of the existing Valley Football Center following the last home game of the 2015 season, with the intention of having the new building ready to go in time for the 2016 football season.
Pres. Ray did acknowledge that construction projects can slip a little, and if it does, the media is invited to his box for a sandwich.
DeCarolis explained that the new Valley Football Center, which originally was opened in 1997, and has undergone multiple expansions and overhauls already, will be "all new construction", though that's not really true, more of a reference to everything being a new finish, as some of the existing structure actually will be re-purposed, with other portions being totally new.
The revamped VFC will add 55,000 sq. ft., with a new field level dressing room (the current one was sized with the expectation of only 90 players, and all rosters are over 100, and have been for years), which will necessitate a new, higher end zone seating section. DeCarolis estimated it will be about 10 rows higher, improving sight lines. It will also be "somewhat U shapped" (don't expect something like the old Husky Stadium horseshoe; more like what you might have seen this fall in refurbished Husky, more of a flat arc.)
DeCarolis said total seating in the end-zone will be determined by the final design, but expected any change in total capacity to be negligible, depending on how the seats can be set in place.
The facility will provide expanded medical and training and equipment rooms, a new meeting room where the locker room currently is that will be large enough to hold the entire team and staff at once, and a new Media Center.
The most noticeable addition will be a concourse connecting the South/West portion to the new North side. As Pres. Ray pointed out, for the first time, it will be possible to walk from any part of the stadium to any other without actually having to go outside of the stadium.
The remodel will also feature an entry atrium.
The project will not provide a visitors' dressing room, so opponents will still be hoofing it up the ramp, which will be mostly covered by the new concourse, and across the street to Gill coliseum.
As Sahr explained yesterday, the addition of a visitors dressing room probably comes as a part of the rebuild of the west side of Reser when it comes sometime after 2016.
DeCarolis sighted 3 principals behind the project, including Recruiting (needed to keep the OSU Brand Image at its highest), Competitiveness (keeping up with national trends in such facilities), and Functionality (noting how things have changed since 1997, sighting the 3 uniforms (though there are actually 4+, with practice gear).