CORVALLIS, Ore. - Building on a 15-year plan to improve its athletic and educational facilities for student-athletes, Oregon State University today announced a $42 million project to expand and renovate the Valley Football Center.
The Valley Football Center expansion and renovation plan calls for the addition of 55,000 square feet to benefit student-athletes, the football program and all OSU athletics programs, which serve more than 500 student-athletes participating in 17 sports.
"Today we are here to share exciting news about another step that we are taking to provide best-in-class facilities," said OSU Director of Athletics Bob De Carolis at a news conference to announce the plans. "This bold vision and investment in the Valley Football Center is part of Oregon State University's plans for future investments to complete the renovation of the west side of Reser Stadium."
Mike Goodwin, president and CEO of the Oregon State University Foundation, said that anonymous gifts totaling $25 million have been secured for the project. The foundation will lead the effort to raise the $17 million balance to fund the expansion. The project is one of several fund-raising initiatives the foundation will launch in the coming months to continue the momentum of the highly successful $1.1 billion Campaign for OSU.
The football team's locker room, equipment room and sports training facility all will be expanded as part of the project. Construction is slated to begin after the 2015 football season and to be completed by the start of the 2016 home season, tentatively scheduled for Sept. 24 vs. Boise State University.
The Valley Football Center was originally built in 1990 and expanded in 1996 to serve 90 student-athletes. The Beavers football program has outgrown the current facility as the program now supports 115 student-athletes and three uniform/helmet styles.
De Carolis said an updated football center will help with recruiting by demonstrating to prospective players that OSU is committed and invests in its football program through top-rate facilities.
"OSU must keep pace with current national trends in college football," De Carolis said. "Facilities have become one of the biggest trends for competitive programs around the country and must remain a priority for the Beavers as the program works to win a Pac-12 Championship."
Expansion of the Valley Football Center is part of a comprehensive athletic and educational facility plan for Beaver sports that started 15 years ago. All told, Oregon State has invested more than $150 million in athletics facilities in this period.
"Our plan to expand the Valley Football Center is not about all of us here today," De Carolis said. "It's about the people and the OSU tradition that have come before us. It's about the present. It's about the student-athletes who will walk through these doors in the future. It's about the OSU football program. And making the program better. It's about being bold. Competing. And winning. The right way. The Beaver Nation way."
OSU President Edward J. Ray also expressed his commitment to the project as well as to making the university's football program more competitive.
"Whether it's excellence and leadership in teaching, research or service to Oregon - or competing in OSU athletics - we are not done," he said. "The best is yet to come. When I view the plans for the expansion of the Valley Football Center and the work we are doing in Reser Stadium, I have one thing to say to those teams who will come here to play us. 'This is our house. So you better bring your "A" game!'"