KU gets approval for $22 million in upgrades to baseball, volleyball facilities

Kansas freshman outside hitter Patricia Montero serves in the third set of the match against Kansas State on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016 at Horejsi Center.

— The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday authorized the University of Kansas to spend $22 million, all from private donations and athletic funds, to upgrade its baseball stadium and volleyball center.

At its regular monthly meeting Wednesday, the Regents approved several capital projects on university campuses across the state, including two at the KU campus in Lawrence: a $10 million upgrade to the Horejsi Family Athletics Center and a $12 million upgrade for Hoglund Ballpark.

Horejsi Family Athletics Center, located between Wagnon Student Athlete Center and Hoglund Ballpark, has been the home of KU volleyball since 1999. It also serves as an additional practice area for the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

It is one of only five volleyball-only facilities in the Big 12, according to KU. It currently seats up to 1,300 spectators. But as the success of the Jayhawk volleyball team and the popularity of the sport have grown in recent years, KU officials said it is time for a major upgrade.

The plan calls for a 3,000-seat arena with new lighting, sound system, video display, remodeled locker rooms and other amenities comparable to what other schools in the Big 12 and other major conferences offer, KU said. Nearby Allen Fieldhouse will remain open during the construction.

The project will be funded with private donations, and annual maintenance will be funded through athletic fees, KU said.

Meanwhile, university officials said, Hoglund Ballpark faces similar challenges. Built in 1990, it currently seats about 2,500 spectators, mainly on general admission bleachers.

Plans for Hoglund call for replacing the existing grandstand with a new, 2,000-seat stadium that will include 80 field-level suite seats and eight press box-level suites, each accommodating 40 people.

The $12 million project also includes adding 1,000 bleacher seats along the left-field baseline, relocating the visitor bullpen to make room for the field-level bleacher seating, replacing the existing concessions and the north restroom with a new concourse that includes a field-level club and expanded concessions.

The project also involves upgrading restrooms, the visitor locker room and the umpire locker room, replacing the existing press box with a new one and adding new suites on the press box level.

KU officials have not yet announced construction schedules for the two projects. One official said both projects will have to be done in between playing seasons for each of the two sports.

Comments

Robert Brock

Fire Zenger. NOW! Nobody cares about those sports. Concentrate on football.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Chris Spangenburg

It has zero impact on football. What is Zenger supposed to tell a donor wanting to give us money for a particular project? Sorry, we don't want your money unless you it's for football??

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Steve Corder

Robert, just calm down. I believe part of the baseball renovation, much needed just to keep up with other B12 baseball programs, is to move the coaches office out of Allen FH to provide needed space for additional FH renovations. There is always more to these stories than reported, and there is always a process in planning so as to achieve multiple outcomes.

By-the-way, OSU has plans on spending 40M on their program.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Waylon Cook

To be fair volleyball has been to a Final Four since our sport has.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Brett McCabe

Great news and great job by all involved! Thanks too, to the generous donors who are making this happen.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Dirk Medema

Fire Robert now. It is exactly this myopic attitude that had been the problem for football for so long. There are lots of fans that care about VB & baseball. I think VB has sold out their games for a couple years now. Any Jayhawk worth anything is concerned about all the things that affect the university.

Big hat tip to Dr Z for seeing the big picture and making KU a better place.

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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Buck Bukaty

If I'm not mistaken the VBall team missed out on home court advantage in the tourney playoffs because our venue seating wasn't sufficient.

And you can never have too much in the way of great facilities for our American Pastime.

Donors to foot the bill at that!

At-A-Boy Dr Z !!!!

At-A-Boys & Girls Donors !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 months, 3 weeks ago

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