Husky Stadium plan in committee's hands
Former Washington football coach Don James is one of 12 members of a new advisory committee handed the task of developing a long-range plan...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Former Washington football coach Don James is one of 12 members of a new advisory committee handed the task of developing a long-range plan for renovating Husky Stadium.
Athletic director Todd Turner said the committee hopes to have a final report — which will also include recommendations on how to fund the project — to send to the UW Board of Regents sometime this summer.
The committee, chaired by former Gov. Dan Evans, met for the first time Thursday, a five-hour gathering that included a tour of the stadium and a one-hour visit with football coach Tyrone Willingham.
Turner said the committee is "the next step" in the effort to renovate Husky Stadium, though any actual construction likely remains years away.
He said once a proposal is approved, it would probably take 20 to 24 months for any major work to begin.
Also, before the school begins taking on some of the more glamorous elements of the project — such as potentially taking out the track and moving the stands closer to the field — it will first likely tackle some much-needed upkeep.
Turner said the stadium needs $70 million to $100 million of what he calls "deferred maintenance."
"Whether we change anything else or not, we need to do that to keep the facility functioning efficiently," he said. "There's concrete that needs repair, systems that need replacing, painting, and replacing major working components of the stadium. Add all that up and it's a lot of money."
Turner said the committee got a good look at some of those needed repairs during Thursday's tour.
"It was eye-opening," Turner said. "One of the people on the committee said they felt like they were in a facility in a third-world country. There's falling concrete, hanging wires, exposed rebar, stuff like that. A lot of stuff that's just not evident to the casual observer on game day."
Other members of the committee are Turner; John Connors, a venture capital executive with Ignition Partners; Ron Crockett, president of Emerald Downs; Jenny Faubion, a student representative to the UW Board of Regents; Anne Gittinger, chairperson of the Tyee Board of Advisors; Rick Redman, former UW football All-American and chairman of Sellen Construction Co.; Jon Runstad, chairman and CEO of real-estate development group Wright Runstad and Company; Doug Wadden, a professor of design in the UW School of Art; Cullen White, president of the Associated Students of the University of Washington; and Scott Woodward, UW's vice president for external affairs.
Until work on Husky Stadium begins, the school is undertaking some other projects, including a new Legends Center that will serve as something of a museum for UW football. It is scheduled to open in the fall.
The school also has recently added murals highlighting former players and game-day activities above Husky Stadium entrances and in areas of Edmundson Pavilion.
"We're just trying to make it a little more exciting to be in these venues, particularly for students and recruits," Turner said. "We're trying to display our history and tradition and the excitement of being a Husky graphically and visually throughout these facilities."
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