Feb. 15, 2005
Is the West Zone project late? As I read media accounts of the West Zone, it seems the media continues to promote the lateness of the project. I understand where they are coming from; however, to depict the project as late simply isn’t accurate. In fact, we have made significant progress with a heightened sense of urgency in a very short period of time.
Prior to my arrival there were two stand alone projects on the drawing boards – one was the continuation of the stadium improvements for fan amenities in the West End Zone and the other was the football facility (Heritage Hall) to be built adjacent to Jervey Gym. The stadium improvements actually was put out to bid – but withdrawn because of insufficient funding. The football facility had only advanced to the conceptual design phase – a far cry from final design development and there was no available funding to go forward.
The present West Zone project is completely different in all respects from the previous stadium improvement plan. The West Zone will soon be under construction and will combine fan game day amenities, game day football operations, club seats to produce a significant revenue stream needed to support financing, recruiting space, and the footprint for the future football building that will consist of offices, meeting rooms, strength/conditioning, sports medicine, Letterwinner’s Lounge, etc. This project is completely different from both earlier project proposals.
To bring the West Zone on line, we had to start from scratch to design a project that would address fan game day amenities, give the much needed football facility project a jump start and extremely important, create a project that would provide critical revenue streams that would significantly assist with financing the total project. This has been done in 2 ½ years. For projects of this magnitude, this time frame is ahead of the time curve. I recognize that confusion arises from the earlier projects which had been contemplated – and particularly, since Coach Bowden has for the six years he has been at Clemson discussed the need for facility improvements. Coach Bowden is on point with the need for infrastructure improvements. Facility improvements are essential in order for Clemson to optimize its ability to compete and recruit consistently.
However, facilities and funding don’t just happen overnight. I’m proud of the fact that, having been here just 2 ½ years, we’ve been able to marshall our troops and resources to move us forward in very quick fashion. I’m very grateful to President Barker, Administrative Council, Board of Trustees, our department/University staff, Athletic Council, and particularly, the IPTAY Board of Directors who partnered with us to get the project on the fast track. Not to mention, those who have personally invested in the West Zone.
These are exciting times. I’m extremely appreciative to everyone that has helped get the West Zone project started. Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t express my appreciation to Bill McLellan and Bobby Robinson for the foundation they provided.
Terry Don Phillips
Past ColumnsFebruary 9, 2005February 1, 2005January 25, 2005January 18, 2005January 11, 2005January 6, 2005December 15, 2004December 7, 2004November 30, 2004November 17, 2004November 10, 2004November 3, 2004October 26, 2004October 21, 2004October 11, 2004October 4, 2004
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