Following the official opening of the Shamrock Zone, K-State Athletics has announced the next phase of its Building Champions initiative as the department will begin construction on a new volleyball arena, Olympic performance center and football indoor center to further enhance the overall experience for both student-athletes and fans, Athletics Director Gene Taylor announced.
Pending approval by the Kansas Board of Regents, construction of these new facilities will begin in early 2022 with the volleyball arena and Olympic performance center, while all three are slated to be completed by Fall 2023. To date, more than 138 total gifts have been made, two of which were eight figure commitments and an astounding 18 seven figure commitments, as K-State Athletics has raised $96.5 million of the new approximate overall $126.5 million cost to begin construction on these three additional facilities, which includes the newly-opened $50 million Shamrock Zone.
“Today is an exciting day as we announce the latest facility projects of our Building Champions initiative,” Taylor said. “Our donors have stepped up in a big way to make this a reality, and the impact that these projects will have on all of our student-athletes is immeasurable. All three of these facilities will provide an edge in recruiting and player development and continue to show that we are invested in maintaining our position as an elite program at the highest level of college athletics.”
“Thanks to the continued generosity of our outstanding supporters, K-State has athletic facilities that rival the best in the nation,” said Richard Myers, K-State president. “The construction of a new volleyball arena, indoor football practice facility and Olympic training center brings us to world-class status for all sports. We appreciate the hard work put in by our athletic department to make these facilities a reality.”
The new indoor football center, which will include an accompanying outdoor practice field, will provide an enormous recruiting and operational advantage for the football program and allow it to operate in a more efficient manner throughout the year. This new facility will feature a full outdoor turf practice field, 130-yard indoor turf practice field, accessibility to the Vanier Family Football Complex and a limestone exterior to match stadium and campus architecture.
“The new indoor and practice field facility will not only benefit our players and program from a recruiting perspective, but the close proximity to the Vanier Complex will provide us a significant convenience factor year-round,” head football coach Chris Klieman said. “The commitment by our donors and administration to a project like this solidifies us as a Big 12 leader in football facilities.”
The volleyball arena will dramatically enhance the student-athlete and fan experience at K-State volleyball matches. The arena will include a seating capacity of approximately 3,500, two practice courts with retractable seating, two video boards, team meeting rooms, locker room, team theater and coaching offices.
“It’s important for our student-athletes and fans to see the commitment to volleyball,” head volleyball coach Suzie Fritz said. “What this facility does more than anything is show a strong commitment from K-State Athletics to our sport, that it’s important and that our athletes, who work hard every day, deserve to play in great facilities. And we plan to make it a very intimate, loud arena that becomes a real home-court advantage.”
Attached to the new volleyball arena will be the new Olympic performance center, which will improve the student-athlete experience, training and strength and conditioning opportunities of multiple Wildcat teams. The facility will feature a 14,000 square foot strength and conditioning center, 8,000 square foot second level multi-use turf area, plyometric ramp, sports medicine rehab space, hydrotherapy recovery area, nutrition and refueling station, office space for athletic training and strength staffs along with a state-of-the-art Mental Health and Wellness space which will house all of the necessary tools for overall wellness and performance enhancement.
“I can’t express how excited I am for the new Olympic weight room,” said Danny Cavender, head strength and conditioning coach for Olympic sports. “This facility will be a game changer for our student athletes and will give them the ability to train in a state-of-the-art facility and the tools they need to be successful on the field or court.”
With the construction of these new facilities, parking around the K-State Athletics campus will be impacted beginning in the spring of 2022 until the facilities are completed. The new indoor football center will be located on the east side of Bill Snyder Family Stadium and will impact some football season ticket holders who park on the east side of the stadium. K-State Athletics has plans to rearrange parking on the east side of the stadium, and all season ticket holders affected by construction will be relocated to a new parking space.
Parking spaces on the east side will not decrease due to the new east parking lot reconfiguration. In the coming months, K-State Athletics will be in contact with Ahearn Fund donors and season ticket holders to communicate these parking changes in more detail and provide an exact timeline of changes. Fans are encouraged to visit the K-State Athletics parking page to view the reconfigured east parking map and answer questions.