Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis Discusses the Raising Reser Campaign
June 17, 2003
Corvallis, Ore. - Quotes from Bob De Carolis regarding the Reser Stadium Expansion Project
'I feel this is a good time to give everybody an update on where we are with the Raising Reser project.
We are at 85 percent of the completion stage for the schematic design - for those of you not familiar with architectural terms, I'll explain. There are three levels of design; the schematic design looks at the project in more an overall broad stroke look; the development design starts to focus on the project; and the construction documents are the actual blueprints.
We are in that first phase, which indicates that we are getting very close to a final design. From there we can fine-tune the project the rest of the way.
We know the $350 and $600 levels have been sold out for a period of time, in fact in some areas we have oversold. An Athletic Department member will be contacting individuals in these sections to give them some options for relocating.
The west side (press box) of the stadium will now have a second deck, but it will not have the loge and club level amenities. If you are waiting for those type of things on the west side and wish to have those amenities the time to act is now - again, the west side will not have the club and loge levels when we get to that point of the expansion.
The club and loge level concepts are essentially the same as originally presented. We should have some drawings of these levels on the website in a week or so. The loge level will have an intimate type setting upscale restaurant with a bar area. We'll have a formal dining area, a fireplace, and an overall take of an ambient concept of the Pacific Northwest.
The club level will have approximately 22,000 square feet of useable space. This area is going to be a high-energy ultimate tailgate experience. There will be a bar area, a game room, and several sizeable projection units tuned into to other football games. We will have a center stage where professional entertainers will perform prior to the game. This is an area that will be able to comfortably sit 600-plus people for banquets. People in the loge and suite areas will be able to access the club level.'
'We need to raise approximately $28 million overall. We have pledges and cash totally $9 million as of mid-June, so we are a third of the way toward our goal. We have a commitment from the student body for a total of $1.3 million over four years, which is quite remarkable considering the increases in fees and tuition. With all of that, it's a huge statement by the Oregon State students that they want to be involved. We have received a sizeable seven-figure gift from an anonymous source, and we are in the talking stages with several other people about making large donations - I feel comfortable with the direction that is going. We are also looking at some business opportunities that could add to our total.
The challenge right now is to expand Beaver Nation and continue to talk with businesses about becoming a part of our program. The selling of the loge and club levels, plus the suites will determine the success of this campaign. Hopefully we can capitalize on the momentum of a successful season and get everybody on board for 2005.
Our goal is to be breaking ground in the summer of next year. The luxury we have is that we can construct around our existing facility without impacting the 2004 season. There will be construction happening during the 2004 season, which should help sales as people see progress. At the end of the 2004 season we can start to demolish parts of the stadium and then finish the project. We still need to figure what we are going to do with the JumboTron and how it works in the equation -- we may move it to the scoreboard area as a temporary home. In 2006 we hope to have a new scoreboard and JumboTron spanning the width of the Valley Football Center, along with a new weight room.'
'Hunt-Wildish will be doing the construction of the stadium. This company did the Autzen Stadium renovation and Wildish was the contractor for the Valley Football Center. Hunt and Wildish have teamed up to work on this project as well as several others. Hunt is a national firm that has been involved in other stadium renovations. What we like about this formation is that these people have already done a somewhat similar project in this state and they understand how the state system works. They also have an understanding of the labor force in this state.'THE PACE OF THE RAISING RESER CAMPAIGN
'This is the first time we have done this type of campaign, so I didn't have many expectations on where we would be at a certain time. I think it's pretty incredible we already have $9 million after announcing our campaign just last September. This project has been on a very fast track. Having said that, some of the assumptions we made initially haven't panned out, so the mix of the money is going to be a little different than what we anticipated. We had planned on about $3 million in the capital-giving portion, but that will grow to about $10 million. We need to sell an additional 6,000-6,500 season tickets in all levels to make up the difference - that is why 'Expanding Beaver Nation' is so important. We need to have our BASF membership grow to help pay the mortgage on the bond. We need have the cash flow to pay that bond bill. We are little disappointed that Beaver Nation hasn't expanded, but we also understand we unveiled this campaign during a busy time of the year for people - now, I'm seeing more individuals interested and people are understanding what we are trying to accomplish - I anticipate some momentum over the next few months.
'Every meeting I attend that issue comes up. Parking is a big issue with this project because there are certain codes which have to be met. Parking is a challenge on campus every day of the week, so we have been working with Facilities Services to put a plan together for a parking garage. The site has been established, the garage will be located across from Gill Coliseum in the Finley lot. We are looking at a facility that will house about 1,000 vehicles, which actually is net of about 700 for that lot. We are also in communication with Benton County Fairgrounds personnel about having a shuttle system in place. With the parking structure and the additional parking at the Fairgrounds we will meet code. We are partnering with the university on the parking structure, and the athletic department will be responsible for about one-third of the projected $12 million cost. That is something the department can leverage with the rest of the university, in that, we are doing something that will benefit the entire university. We are also exploring opportunities to have a train running from Portland available for every game-day, much like what happens during the Civil War.'