Completion of OSU's Boone Pickens Stadium renovations pushed back one year

Friday, July 16th 2004, 6:01 am
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) -- Renovations on Boone Pickens Stadium will take a year longer than previously expected due to limited construction space on a street bordering the Oklahoma State football stadium, project officials said.

The first phase, a renovation of the south stands, is slightly behind schedule, but should be completed in time for Oklahoma State's home opener Sept. 11 against Tulsa, officials said. However, Phase 2 of the project, a renovation of the north stands scheduled for completion in 2005, will not be finished until 2006. The entire three-phase project, which was to be done in 2006, will not be completed until 2007.

"The problem is we don't have lay-down space," athletic director Harry Birdwell said. "There is so much being done on the south side there's no room to stack construction materials for the north side.

"Rather than have both sides torn up at once, we decided to do the next part in two phases. It's just going to take two football seasons to get built what we want to do on the north side."

To complete the second phase on time, officials would have had to block Hall of Fame Avenue, a major campus artery on the north side of the stadium.

The third and final phase, which will bowl in the west end zone, will be completed for the 2007 season.

Due to increased construction costs, the price tag on the project could increase to $100 million from $85 million. Birdwell said the university had raised $62.5 million in 19 months and is ahead of expectations.

"Anytime you have a project this large there can be mid-course corrections dictated by a construction manager or architect," Birdwell said. "I'm not discouraged at all by the fact it may take a little longer than we originally planned because we had a very aggressive construction schedule."

Although the first phase was delayed by weather in June, construction on Phase 2 will begin as planned at the end of the 2004 season in November, said Jim Heley, senior project manager for Flintco Inc., which is overseeing construction.

"You'll see a lot of progress next year," Heley said. "Underneath the north stands it will be gutted out after this football season.

Ground-level rest rooms and concession stands will be ready for the 2005 season but upper-level amenities and suites won't be completed until the 2006 season.

Birdwell said officials also had to review how plans for Phase 3 would affect Hester Street on the west side of the stadium.