With the Iowa State athletic department coming off one of its most successful years in school history, the movement has begun on some of the planned facility improvements.
Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard said during the first Tailgate Tour stop last week in Audubon that they have begun the process of preparing the area around, Jack Trice Stadium, the Bergstrom Football Complex and Jacobson Building for the addition of a Sports Performance Center plus renovations to the stadium.
“The construction fence is up. The first phase of the project is utility work so not all that exciting,” Pollard said. “Most people will be disappointed to know there’s not much to see because most of the stuff is being done underground. So there probably won’t be any real movement until later in the summer. The other parking lot will go under construction here shortly so when that happens it will look like there’s a lot going on.”
Iowa State received final approval to build the Sports Performance Center, a four-story facility that will be connected to the Bergstrom, last November. It will house a 20,000 square foot academic and student services center plus dining and nutrition facilities that will be used by all Iowa State student-athletes. It will also be the home of locker rooms, batting cages, a weight room and sports medicine facilities for a number of Iowa State’s Olympic sports programs, including soccer, softball, tennis and golf.
All of that is in addition to the 20,000 square foot addition planned for the Bergstrom Football Complex alone, which will bring more locker room space, team lounges, offices and gathering areas to the building originally opened in 2012. The construction will also bring massive changes to the north side of Jack Trice Stadium with a lighted plaza and gathering space that will be built where the Olson Building currently sits.
While the addition is certainly a major positive for the future of Iowa State sports, it could create a small headache for some fans used to entering Jack Trice Stadium through the northwest gates on Saturdays in the fall.
“Clearly getting in and out of the stadium on the north end, especially to the west side, will be a little bit of a challenge this fall,” Pollard said. “We’ll work our way through that. Same thing for just anybody going from the football building into the Jacobson Building. It’s already where you’ve got to go around the construction site so that will be a two-year process. But this fall you’ll need a little bit of a road map to work your way through the west side.”
Pollard also gave a brief update on the proposed renovations to Hilton Coliseum that would include major changes to the outer-concourse and exterior of the structure. The school announced the plans in February and it is expected to be presented to the full Board of Regents sometime this year.
“The Hilton project is still way early in the initial conceptual and design phase. Probably not anything substantial there until into the basketball season,” Pollard said. “The earliest they probably would start doing anything over there is after commencement a year from now.”