Buxton Stadium construction part of renovation plan

Buxton Stadium construction part of renovation plan

by Kristin SimpsonStaff Writer

Bill Buxton Stadium is undergoing construction as part of a renovation project.

The stadium’s new cement walkway is just one small part of a series of upgrades to the complex and the surrounding facilities. The cement job was expected to be finished by last week, according to Athletic Director John Sirianni.

New fencing and landscaping are also part of the plans for phase one of the renovations. The fencing began to go up last week and should be completed by the end of this week.

The funding for phase one was supplied by an anonymous donor. The plans for the stadium upgrades were worked on in conjunction with an architect, the donor and Indianola High School.

“This is a privately-funded project and it is not in conflict or competition with money being raised for the student center and Blank Performing Arts Center renovations,” Sirianni said.

The cementing, fencing and landscaping will be followed by four other phases in the future. The basic plans for the entire project have been drawn out, but changes may be made to phases two-through-five as the process develops.

“All of the things we want to do at the stadium had to be put together so they all fit,” Sirianni said. “We’re in the process of planning how we will move ahead with the next phases of the project. As we generate funds we will continue to work on the rest of the project.”

Sirianni believes the upgrades in the physical aspects of the stadium will make the complex more attractive and usable. The project will help in recruiting for all athletics, especially football, soccer and track and field.

“The actual functionality of the facility will be greatly improved,” Sirianni said. “It will make going to games in cruddy weather much more enjoyable and less of a hassle. It becomes a showpiece because it’s right in the middle of campus.”

According to Ron Peterson, assistant athletic director and head wrestling coach, phase one will fix the issue of mud caused by rain around the perimeter of the track. It will also replace the fencing which was getting old.

“We’ve had a tremendous problem with our fans coming to our events with the mud down around the concession stand and particularly our visitors who’d have to walk to the other side in the mud at times when it’s wet,” Peterson said.

Sophomore soccer defender Matt Winegard thinks the renovations make it easier to get to the track and the field.

“I think it makes the field look a lot nicer,” Winegard said. “There used to just be a giant mudhole.”

Winegard believes that the upgrades in the stadium make Simpson more appealing, which will attract spectators.

“I think overall if the stadium looks nicer it will draw more people,” Winegard said. “It’s greatly appreciated when anyone helps out to make the campus look better.”