Renovations continue at Oregon State University

Greg Germano

There is a lot of history surrounding sports at Oregon State. With history comes age, and the wear and tear of Reser Stadium as well as other athletic facilities has been starting to show in recent years.

On Dec. 10, 2014, the Oregon State University athletic department unveiled their plans for a $42 million project to expand and renovate the Valley Football Center and a small part of Reser. Many of the sports medicine rooms and sports offices currently in Gill Coliseum are used by over 500 student athletes. These new additions in the Valley Football Center will help make more room for athletes.

Steve Fenk, associate athletic director of athletic communications, is one of the main contacts for the new project and will oversee many of the major renovations.

“Washington State just got (a renovation) and Arizona just got one,” Fenk said. “Oregon State actually had the first football dedicated building in the PAC-10 when it was built in 1990.”

Working around the football season is is difficult, but the Oregon State athletic department expects most of the center’s renovations to be finished by the end of 2016.

“The main problem right now with the current building is the locker rooms,” said Fenk. “They are not big enough for the size of teams we have now.”

The north endzone seating is being renovated to make more room for expanded locker rooms. The locker rooms will be expanded 37,870 square feet and 25,830 square feet of the existing building will be renovated. Other additions include more training facilities, a hall of fame, nutrition and performance tables and new sports medicine rooms.

“The word recruitment is huge in terms of college. Right now we are always competing with other schools in terms of attracting athletes and students, and one of the biggest attractions are the facilities,” Fenk said.

Oregon State University lost their major donor, Al Reser, in 2010. In fall 2013, the University of Oregon opened its brand new $68 million, 145,000-square-foot football center. Nike co-founder Phil Knight, who has been a donor for UO, has helped them raise a lot of money for all their new facilities.

“We have had a lot of academic buildings go up and now we are going to begin renovating the football center so athletes will enjoy their time here. We have even talked about renovating the west side of Reser later down the line,” Fenk said.

The public is not typically allowed in the locker room area, however, students are given special access. Geoff Lowe, a senior majoring in digital communications and business, has been inside the old locker rooms before the renovations began.

“The locker rooms were really cramped and small,” said Lowe. “It didn’t look as modern and updated as some of the other locker rooms you see in the PAC-12.”

Another public notice about the project will be released during the second week of February where more information about the renovated structure will be shared.