CHICAGO – Sandy Barbour, Penn State’s vice president for intercollegiate athletics, said Friday that consideration for the design of the first phase of renovation at Beaver Stadium will get started soon, but she couldn’t say what that initial step could be, or give a timetable.
“It depends on what it is we decide is the first phase,” Barbour told reporters at the Big Ten’s football media days. “I don’t have a lot of detail for you on that. We haven’t really been at that stage, so yeah, it would be working with some of our consultants on the kinds of answers.
“First of all, what are the questions? What are the questions that need to be asked and then, what are those answers and what does that lead us to, to proceed toward?”
Penn State remains in the initial five-year segment of facilities improvement. One of the facilities is the Lasch Football Building, where Barbour said board approval has been received “to hire an architect for close to $70 million worth of next-step renovations.”
She also mentioned improvements to the basketball practice facility that includes locker rooms, strength and conditioning, and sports medicine. She also talked about upgrades for soccer, tennis, aquatics, and field hockey facilities.
She said more than $46 million has been raised this year for Penn State athletics, including “one, maybe two pretty significant gifts that we’re counting in that number that haven’t been announced yet,”
Barbour said the university would consider naming rights for athletic facilities but not for all of them.
“I think some is more appropriate than others,” she said. “I think that some corporate sponsors or naming of any sort are more appropriate than others. But yeah, we’d take a look at it, absolutely.”
She also discussed some upgrades to the parking lots around Beaver Stadium, some of which had to be closed for multiple games because of rain. She said that some lots have received more gravel for traction, and that the lot behind the north end zone has been fitted with what she called “a really hard plastic mesh product.”
“That’s going to enable us to have lots that can take a lot more water, a lot more rain, and still be usable,” she said.