West Liberty University continues its upgrades to its football complex as demolition begins on the press box and seating area Dec. 16.
"This part of the football complex project will take us to the next level of convenience and comfort for our students, fans and media professionals. We thank our donors, especially Gary West and his wife Flip, for their leadership and financial support of this important campus improvement. It will greatly enhance our student experience and our outreach," said President Robin C. Capehart.
Businessman Gary West is a resident of Florida, alumnus of West Liberty and member of the WLU Foundation Board.
"We're very excited about the next phase of the football complex. The demolition will take place over winter break. Then construction bid documents will be prepared for the next phase of building, to begin next spring," said Jim Watson, WLU director of athletics. The target date for completion of the press box and seating project is mid-summer.
The current press box dates to 1976. The new design will improve the press box so that it can meet the growing needs of game operations and media requirements, including WLU TV-14 broadcast needs.
"We also will have new aluminum seating that will result in better safety and comfort for our fans, along with new restrooms and concession areas," Watson said. The stadium currently has 4,000 seats and the improvements will result in a decrease of about 800 seats.
Other recent field improvements for the Hilltoppers include the addition of a professional sports lighting system allowing for night games and the installation of MondoTurf playing surface.
Savage Construction, Wheeling, won the bid for demolition and the initial meeting with Savage Construction officials, WLU project manager Larry Skrzypek and other WLU administrators took place at 9 a.m., Dec. 16.
Immediately following the meeting, crews began to dismantle the bleachers.