Construction Continues on $83 Million University Expansion

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An $83 million expansion and renovation that will dramatically change athletic facilities at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale is expected to be completed by 2010.

The centerpieces of the project includes a new 12,000-seat football stadium and a renovated basketball arena that will have approximately 8,500 seats. The projects are slated for completion in time to host the home-opening games of the 2010 men’s football season and the 2010 men’s and women’s basketball seasons.

The new football stadium will replace McAndrew Stadium, built in 1939, and the renovated 45-year-old Saluki Arena is expected to be more accommodating for fans, school officials say.

“It’s going to give our student athletes and our SIU-C community something to be proud of,” King says. “The facilities are going to be much more fan-friendly facilities.”

Budgeted at $25.3 million, the 37,000-square-foot U-shaped football stadium designed by Carbondale-based Image Architects Inc. will have 12,000 fixed seats and additional lawn seating. It will feature a press box and club area with 12 private, enclosed luxury suites, a artificial grass turf fields, and new scoreboards and video boards.

The college’s current stadium has a “decrepit press box,” no suites, no clubhouse and no air conditioning, King says.

Once the project is completed, the old stadium will become primarily a track and field facility, King says.

Holland Construction Services of Swansea, Ill., is building the stadium.

The $29.9 million upgrade to Saluki Arena will include new seating, improved handicapped accessibility, a new scoreboard and concession areas and additional restrooms.

An $11.5 million two-story multi-purpose structure, designed by 360 Architecture of Kansas City, will serve as the new main entrance to the arena. The new facility will contain a ticket office, football and basketball team facilities, an auditorium and administrative space. The façade will combine brick veneer with a glass curtain wall.

Funding for the projects are coming from public and private sources. The city of Carbondale has committed $20 million ($1 million over 20 years) and SIU-C has increased student fees and launched a targeted fund-raising program for additional funding.