UI explores options for improving stadium

By Craig Colbrook

In an effort to modernize Memorial Stadium, the University is asking architecture firms to send in their ideas about how to keep the facility running smoothly.

Gene Barton, associate vice chancellor for student affairs, said the University has put out a Request for Proposals (RFP), an open invitation for architecture firms to introduce measures to improve the stadium.

“The University has come out with RFP to do complete operative, structural and commercial reviews of the facility,” Barton said. “It’s kind of a road map to see what can be done, what we can choose.”

Barton stressed that the University has not hired a firm for construction and only has a general idea of what improvements need to be made, including increased seating and improvements to the “horseshoe” seating structure on the stadium’s south side.

“After sending this out, the University will then see what work they want done and hire someone to do it,” he said.

Barton said the RFP was sent out to several firms and they can choose whether and how they will reply to it. He also noted that Assembly Hall underwent a similar examination last year.

“They’re doing to Memorial what we did to Assembly Hall a year or so ago, trying to give us some idea what might be required to keep the stadium modern and functioning for the next few years,” he said.

While Barton said the money for the RFP and any future remodeling will come from the athletics department, some students still had concerns that money would be spent where it was not needed.

Tommy Cafcas, sophomore in FAA, said he had much greater concerns than athletics.

“They shouldn’t improve Memorial Stadium because they don’t pay the professors enough already,” Cafcas said. “They should spend that money on Lincoln Hall or something instead of sports teams that suck anyway.”