Jan 172012
 
Authors: Allison Sylte

Amy Parsons, the vice president for University Operations, is the go-to woman when it comes to campus construction.

And as the co-chair of the stadium advisory committee, Parsons will be at the forefront of efforts to explore the feasibility of the monumental task of constructing a $100 to $200 million stadium on CSU’s campus.

As co-chair of the stadium advisory committee, what are some of the immediate goals that you’d like to see accomplished? What kind of time frame are you setting for this project?

We’ve got several early goals. First, we will work to very quickly set up a process for accepting public input on the project. This is critical, because we’re committed to conducting this process in an inclusive, deliberate and transparent manner.

Second, we will conduct a market analysis so that we have some baseline data about the economics of this project. Then we’ll move on to site selection, design and fundraising. The committee hasn’t met yet, so it would be premature to say we have a timeline in terms of these action items.

Athletics Director Jack Graham’s 2014 project deadline seems pretty ambitious. As someone who is tasked overseeing construction operations on campus, how does this compare with other projects you’ve worked on?

Jack has set a very aggressive personal goal. It would be remarkable if a project of this scope could meet that timeline, but it’s part of Jack’s role to push and challenge us. The committee will work as quickly as possible, but we aren’t going to compromise the process or cut corners.

It’s hard to compare this to other projects because CSU hasn’t built a stadium in more than 40 years.

What are some of the longer term goals and priorities for the committee? What role will different committee members (i.e. students and faculty members) play in the final decision-making process?

We want to make sure that there is a connection to academic departments at CSU. We plan to maximize the educational value of this process and plug academic divisions in where it makes sense. For instance, the College of Business will help with the market analysis, and the Department of Construction Management will be able to provide extremely valuable assistance with regard to site selection and the construction process.

Regarding the committee, it is structured so that we have representatives from major stakeholder groups: students, faculty, staff, alumni, community representatives and the City of Fort Collins. It’s important to have broad representation to ensure that we look thoroughly at all the issues in a holistic fashion.

Has there been any discussion as to what will happen to Hughes if this project goes through?

Not yet.

According to a 2005 article in RamNation, current senior associate athletics director Doug Max said in the early 2000s, the athletics department researched locations for an on-campus stadium, and at the time, their results seemed to say it was expensive and almost implausible to build the necessary infrastructure. What exactly has changed since then?

I haven’t seen that article nor I have I seen a report from that period, so I really can’t speak to that. We are, however, committed to taking a fresh look at this proposal in 2012.

I want to be very clear, the university has not made a final decision on this – that’s what the committee is for. But we think there is potentially a lot of benefit to CSU and the community with an on-campus stadium, and we’re looking forward to doing the hard work of seeing what it will take to make it happen.

 Posted by at 3:55 pm

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