Plans for renovated football and athletics facilities at Augustana College respect both the tradition of the program and the expectations of a new generation of student-athletes and fans.
The college’s Board of Trustees will get its first look today at plans for a multi-million dollar project that Augustana president Steven Bahls calls unique at the NCAA Division-III level.
“Much like the Center for Student Life, the design for what we are looking at is not copied by another institution,” Bahls told the Quad-City Times editorial board Tuesday. “… It is a very interesting concept.”
The school announced in January after receiving an initial $100,000 planning grant from the Cincinnati-based Austin E. Knowlton Foundation that it had partnered with St. Louis-based architectural firm Hastings and Chivetta to design a major renovation and construction project at Ericson Field and the Carver PE Center.
Trustees will do a design review of the project today and Bahls said the hope is to have final plans in place within a month.
Augustana graduate and former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson is providing leadership on the project, which is centered around needs for improved stadium, locker room and team meeting facilities as well as replacement of the existing all-weather turf at Ericson Field.
“What we are looking at will make our stadium one of the best in Division III,” Bahls said. “The modern Division-III stadium creates a game-day event atmosphere that is unique, and these plans accomplish that.”
Bahls outlined many of the plans during his meeting with the editorial board.
They include construction of a new Victory Plaza which will serve as the primary entry way to the stadium and construction of seating for the team’s fans that will follow the move of Augustana’s sideline from the south side of the existing stadium to the north side of the facility.
“It will be something special, and fans will no longer have to dodge traffic through an entrance off of a parking lot,” Bahls said.
Plans also include a clubhouse facility that will serve as a gathering place for students and fans, providing space that Bahls said will allow spectators to “enjoy a hot dog and a Pepsi while keeping tabs on other games on big-screen televisions.”
The facility will also have an observation deck with high tables that will allow fans to enjoy an elevated view of action taking place on the turf and will have a viewing box which will allow administrators and athletic department officials to entertain special guests.