Structural construction on the on-campus stadium has finished, signified by a massive flag-strewn white beam that became part of the stadium’s frame Wednesday.
The ceremonial event served to both celebrate structural completion and show appreciation for the Mortenson Construction employees working on the stadium, many of whom signed the beam before it was placed in the frame of a grandstand in the south-east area of the stadium.
Construction on the $220 million project passed the halfway mark a long time ago, according to CSU athletic director Joe Parker, who now estimates that construction on the stadium will be completed by June 2017.
“I joke that every time I say ‘stadium’ I’m required to also say ‘on time and on budget,'” CSU President Tony Frank said in a speech.
Parker said while $50 million has been raised for the cost of the new stadium, a financial plan is in place to pay off the rest of the debt by 2050. CSU officials have said in the past that this cost would not be transferred to students. Instead, Parker said one of the ways of offsetting costs is to sell luxury seating in the stadium, including VIP and higher-viewpoint boxes. Parker claimed 90 percent of these luxury boxes have already been sold.
“September last year was the groundbreaking, and now in August we place the last piece of steel,” Parker said in a speech to hundreds of stadium construction workers. “What a transformative moment for the university in bringing football back to campus through the game-day experience.”
After giving thanks to multiple officials involved with planning the stadium, Frank pointed out that the stadium was only the second of three capping-off ceremonies happening within a week of each other at CSU.
The first occurred Monday, with the ceremonial beam going up in the new $59 million dollar on-campus Health and Medical Center on the corner of College Avenue and Prospect Road. The third ceremony will be later this week for the Chemistry building’s completion of structural construction.
“This is a university that wakes up in the morning, looks at itself in the mirror and holds itself accountable for excellence,” Frank said.