Feb 082005
Authors: Clarke Reader

Next football season students and Rams football fans will notice something very different when they arrive at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

It will not be new players or uniforms, but Hughes itself will be different.

The press box, along with several other features of the stadium, is being remodeled.

"We're expanding the press box and club levels, and building 12 new suites," said Gary Ozzello, senior associate athletic director.

Most of the work is being done on the west side of the stadium, but this is not the only construction completed at the stadium recently.

"Initial construction started in January of 2004," said Mark Driscoll, director of athletics. "The first construction done from January to August 2004 was the two new scoreboards, the new seating in the north end zone and a lot of infrastructure work like electricity and wiring that was worked on prior to and during the season."

The west section of the stadium has been under construction for only a few months, but things appear to be proceeding according to schedule.

"Construction started on the west area after the 2004 season," Driscoll said. "It appears that the project is on schedule and they're working hard to deal with cost overruns and keep the project on budget."

Right now, a lot of work is being done to connect the old with the new at Hughes.

"Now they're connecting the new structure with the old structure. There's considerable square footage to the project," Driscoll said.

The construction is expected to be complete before the 2005 season.

"It's going very well," Ozzello said. "Feel like it will be finished well before the 2005 season."

Students on campus agree work on Hughes is something that should be done.

"The press box needed to be done, for sure," said Dustin Folger, a second bachelor's degree student studying nutrition. "The whole stadium needed to be done."

The goal of this construction is to give fans a great place to relax when they go to an event held at the stadium.

"Fans will get a much nicer atmosphere to watch games and be entertained," Driscoll said.

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