Summer projects include stadium improvements and parking at Mount Union College

April 13, 2010

Improvements at historic Mount Union Stadium and more on-campus parking top the list of summer projects at Mount Union College starting in mid-May, according to Patrick Heddleston, vice president for business affairs of the College.

The stadium projects, which were funded largely through the generosity of the late Basil and Betty Strong, will include a new artificial grass playing surface for football, a resurfacing of the track and relocation of the long jump area, a new, two-story press box, and the replacement of two concession stands.

According to Heddleston, the College has reached an agreement with Southwest Industries for the installation of AstroPlay, a surface currently in place at several stadiums throughout the country including the University of Kansas, Oklahoma State University and Capital University.

As part of the field installation, Southwest Industries will also be responsible for resurfacing the track and relocating the long jump from the west sidelines to an area outside the stadium. Heddleston said the high jump and pole vault events would continue to be held inside the stadium.

The press box, according to Heddleston, will feature 1,500 square feet of space for coaches, media, game personnel and guests, and will be located behind the east stands. The current press box, which contains approximately 700 square feet, will be demolished making room for 156 additional prime seats in the east stands.

The two concession stands in the southwest and southeast corners of the stadium will be razed and rebuilt within close proximity of the existing facilities but set back far enough to improve the pedestrian traffic flow during games, Heddleston said. The College also plans to improve the sound system within the stadium and construct new walkways and improve the aisleways in the east and west stands.

This summer's improvements are the third step in a three-year plan that has included new public restrooms, rebuilt perimeter brick walls with wrought iron gating, a 600-seat addition to the covered stands, new walkways, and the painting of major areas of the stadium.

In addition to the stadium improvements, the College plans a new landscaped, park-like setting for a parking lot on the former Memorial Hall site that, when coupled with the existing lot east of Mount Union Stadium, will accommodate 167 vehicles. There will also be a 30-space expansion of the Miller Avenue lot south of State Street. The College is also working with Alliance Community Hospital to partner on a lot on the east side of Union Avenue that would provide 50 additional spaces.

Details on the parking lots, concession stands and press box are pending review by the city planning commission.

"Summers are always busy on a college campus but we think the public will be especially interested in what we have planned for the summer of 2002," Heddleston said.

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