Salina City Commissioners approve on first reading the Kansas Wesleyan University Sports Complex Addition.
The action paves the way for a new $7.5 million sports complex project to begin. The project includes a new football stadium, track, practice field, and locker room facility.
KWU President Matt Thompson told commissioners this project will not only benefit the school, but also the entire community.
The stadium will seat 2,000 people on the home side. Movable bleachers will provide seating for up to 500 fans on the visitor’s side. Seating can be expanded on both sides in the future, as needed.
The playing surface on both the stadium field and practice field will be field turf. It will be utilized by multiple KWU programs, including the football team, men’s and women’s soccer team, the baseball team, and the softball team.
The complex will also include an eight lane track, which Thompson said was not in the original plans. To make use of it, the school plans to begin a track program. It will be also available to host state-wide events, and will be used by Sacred Heart High School.
KWU and Sacred Heart High School will both use the new complex. The schools will also share parking during events.
In front of the new stadium there will be a monument to Glenn Martin, for whom the current stadium is named, using stones from the existing facility. A coyote mascot monument is also planned. The field will still be called “Gene Bissel Field”.
A cast iron fence will surround the complex, as will a sidewalk.
To make room for the expansion, traffic will be altered on a couple of nearby streets.
The expansion to the east will have an impact on Osborne Street. Plans call for it to become a southbound one-way street, with parking.
The expansion to the north will have an impact on Claflin Street. The street will stay two-way, with additional parking added. The sidewalk that surrounds the stadium will have a rolled curb, allowing access for large emergency vehicles.
There are no plans for changes to Cloud Street or Fourth Street traffic.
If everything goes as planned, the current stadium will be demolished in the very near future. Construction will then begin immediately, and the new facility will be ready in September for the 2014 football season.