This newly released rendering shows Colorado State University's proposed on-campus football stadium. Courtesy of Colorado State University
FORT COLLINS - Colorado State University has trimmed nearly $20 million from the cost of its proposed on-campus football stadium, largely by redesigning one side, and on Thursday released new renderings showcasing the 40,000-seat venue.
Briefly breaking a self-imposed silence while university officials raise money for the now-$226.5 million privately funded stadium project, Colorado State University President Tony Frank said he still believes the project remains in CSU's best long-term interests. Frank said he expects CSU will have raised about $37 million for the project by year's end.
Critics continue to blast the project as a "fatally flawed" boondoggle that will reduce the university's emphasis on academics and research.
"Fundraising is ongoing, and we have made great progress in many areas, particularly building relationships with new potential donors interested in this type of activity," Frank said in a presentation Thursday. "In short, if we can arrive at a successful series of funding outcomes that do not impact the general fund of the university and the tuition we charge our students, I believe it remains in the best long-term interest of the university to have a new stadium facility and to have it located on our main campus."
In a presentation to members of the university's governing board on Thursday, Frank said the stadium could also contain about 55,000 square feet of classrooms, to address a need for more academic space. That academic space would be paid for separately from the stadium project.
The stadium site is about a block north of Prospect Road in Fort Collins, on the southern edge of the university's existing campus, at the intersection of Lake and South Whitcomb streets. CSU proposes to build a parking garage, paid for separately, to serve the stadium and other campus growth.
Frank said he expects to decide in the next two months whether the university should proceed with formal design and development work for the project, a step that would kick off a new round of neighborhood meetings. Seven of the state's largest construction companies have expressed interest in building the project to replace the aging Hughes Stadium.
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