Iowa State eyeing $65 million to $80 million in Jack Trice upgrades

North side to follow south-side renovations

(File photo) The Jacobson Building at Jack Trice Stadium during the first half of their rivalry game Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)
(File photo) The Jacobson Building at Jack Trice Stadium during the first half of their rivalry game Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013 at Jack Trice Stadium in Ames. (Brian Ray/The Gazette)

Just two years after debuting major upgrades to the south end of its Jack Trice Stadium, Iowa State wants to update the flip side by expanding, demolishing and renovating facilities at the stadium’s north end.

The $65 million to $80 million project is needed to “upgrade training, performance, nutrition and academic facilities in support of student-athletes,” according to an Iowa State project proposal submitted to the Board of Regents and made public Tuesday.

It would, among other things, expand the Bergstrom Football Complex — a state-of-the-art training facility opened in 2012 — to align with a “change in coaching staff and philosophical direction of the program.”

“This project provides an opportunity to reprogram the facility to match current priorities and operations,” according to board documents.

Additionally, the university wants to build a new student-athlete academic and sports nutrition performance center — similar to the University of Iowa’s 15-year-old Gerdin Athletic Learning Center, which it is updating to the tune of $6.3 million.

The Iowa State project aims to relocate space in the Ralph A. Olsen Building — which houses locker rooms and conditioning facilities — to an expansion on the west side of the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility or to vacated space in the Richard O. Jacobson Athletic Building, a center built in 1996.

The Olsen Building, completed in 1975, would then be demolished, according to board documents. The project additionally would redevelop Jack Trice’s north entrance and north hillside seating — like the university recently did to the stadium’s south end zone. The work will be funded entirely by private gifts and athletics department operational funds, according to the board report.

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Iowa State is seeking board approval to proceed with planning the project, including initiating the design selection process and use of “alternative project delivery methods.” That could mean instead of contracting separately with a project designer and a contractor, Iowa State could hire a single entity for both design and construction.

The university also could use a construction management method where the manager is an agent of Iowa State or a method where construction management is “at risk,” meaning the construction manager is legally responsible for delivering the project on time and on budget.

Potential benefits of considering alternatives, according to Iowa State, include improving the project outcome, accelerating the design and putting construction on a “fast track” that would let the university “begin beneficial use of the new facilities as soon as possible.”

A specific timeline for the project hasn’t been made public, and Iowa State hasn’t disclosed how much of the project’s total funding it has in hand.

The work, if approved, will follow major renovations to the Jack Trice south end zone completed in 2015. That $60 million project included a 40,000-square-foot Sukup South End Zone club featuring two levels of premium seating and club space, 46 televisions, an expansive first-floor video wall, premium concessions, a kitchen and two full-service bars.

It expanded the existing end zone — bringing the stadium’s capacity to 61,500. Work also involved a new concourse with additional concessions and restrooms and a new 40-foot-by-150-foot scoreboard. By bumping up its capacity, Jack Trice became the third largest stadium in the Big 12.

Athletics additionally has been developing green space between the Cyclones’ football home and nearby Reiman Gardens in hopes of improving the entrances to both.

Board documents further detail proposed north-end upgrades.

The Bergstrom Football Complex, though relatively new, warrants expansion and renovation to keep up with evolving football program needs, Iowa State reports.

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Additionally, some elements were removed from its 2012 construction due to budget considerations, and NCAA rules have changed since that time “providing additional opportunities to enhance the student-athlete experience,” specifically regarding nutritional support and time management requirements.

A new academic performance and sports nutrition center would address those requirements by serving the university’s 400-plus student athletes in their academic and life-skills development. Currently, that programming is housed in the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, which shares space with the Dean of Students Office.

New construction would include tutoring rooms, computer labs and advising offices, more than doubling available programmed academic space. It would improve nutritional options and access for student-athletes by offering new dining options closer to academic supports, coaching staff, and parking.

Demolishing the 38,850-square-foot Olson Building would shift activities to an addition off the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility or within the Jacobson Building. That addition would include locker rooms, strength and conditioning, and sports medicine facilities dedicated specifically for women’s athletics programs.

Improvements to Jack Trice’s north entrance would involve redeveloping ramps, concourses and gates, improving access for fans with mobility issues and redeveloping marching band and hillside seating.

l Comments: (319) 339-3158; vanessa.miller@thegazette.com

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