Colorado State University – Pueblo Boosts Football Program
Located 100 miles south of Denver, Colorado State University-Pueblo is a fully accredited university with an enrollment of nearly 5,200 students. Surprisingly, the school didn't always have a football program.
"The football program was dropped in 1984," said Lee Meisner, a project manager with Friends of Football (FOF), a nonprofit organization based in Pueblo. "In 2007, FOF raised enough money to bring back the football program along with women's track and men's wrestling.
In 2016, FOF embarked on a new campaign, called "Lift Up the Pack," with the goals of raising money to replace the turf on the football field, remodel the basement of the existing field house and build a 10,000-square-foot weight training facility. "We broke ground in April and had our first home game on September 10," said Meisner.
So what did the upgrades entail?
The basement of the fieldhouse was renovated, and the 3,800-square-foot weight room was transformed to include more lockers, an expanded equipment room, and, most importantly, a new training room for the student-athletes.
The new building features a 10,000-square-foot weight room that is nearly three times the size of the previous facility. Of that space, 5,000-square-feet of it features Ecore Athletic Performance Monster Roll surfacing. The former rubber surface was only .25-inches thick and wasn't engineered to have weights dropped on it. "The benefit now is that the entire weight lifting area is a drop zone for our weights," said Meisner.
Adjacent to 14 custom, inlaid lifting platforms is 4,200-square-feet of turf surface designed to eliminate the need for infill, which makes it an ideal training turf.
"The turf features alternating colors of red, blue and white every five yards, and has our team logo in the middle," said Meisner. "It turned out great. It looks awesome. Everyone loves the turf. From burpees to yoga to lineman drills, the turf works great."
In addition to the weight room, when the fieldhouse was remodeled, it was upgraded to include a wet room with an underwater treadmill and 12-person cold water tub. Due to the continuous water in this environment, a special vinyl safety surfacing was installed that is ideal for wet areas and is engineered with slip-resistant particles and a raised emboss for added slip resistance.
The rooftop of the fieldhouse also was renovated to include a tailgate area for games. "It's a party deck that is built into a hill, and the school has special rooftop tailgates here on game days," said Meisner.
In the end, FOF had 95 donors and raised $3.5M for all three of the renovations in only nine months. So, how was it to set a budget and be expected to fundraise at the same time?
"It was interesting; but, in a way, it was a positive, because we were always conscious of the budget," said Meisner. "Managing both the revenue and the expense side of the project demanded a lot of the local construction community. The citizens and organizations of Pueblo delivered like never before."
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