Joe Parker was formally introduced Thursday to the Board of Governors of the Colorado State University System and quickly turned the conversation toward the new on-campus stadium, set to open in 2017.
Parker, hired by CSU System Chancellor and President Tony Frank in March following a seven-month search, touted the success of current student-athletes both in the classroom and in competition. CSU established an all-time best of a 3.145 cumulative GPA during the fall semester, while the football, volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams produced a combined record of 91-21, leading the nation with a winning percentage of 82.1.
Extensive stadium project experience
But the majority of his brief presentation was focused on the stadium project. He introduced the latest stadium renderings produced by Populous and talked about discussions with Mortenson Construction, the lead contractors on the project.
The former All-American swimmer at Michigan also discussed his extensive experience working with stadium projects, and talked about what the stadium will do for the campus and community
“I’ve been involved in three stadium projects – the University of Texas, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Michigan – and at the conclusion of all three there was an overwhelmingly positive response from the communities. It’s an engagement opportunity – a chance to engage with current students, our alumni and the community – that you don’t get with an off-campus facility.”
Prior to Parker’s presentation, the Board took public input on the project. While three of the six speakers expressed some concerns about it, the remaining three enthusiastically endorsed the on-campus stadium, which the Board formally approved in December.
“Some people have asked ‘Why?’ I would like to ask ‘Why not?’ said Kevin McDougal, a city resident and former football standout at CSU. “Why not put CSU on the national forefront of athletics and academics? Why not do everything we can to show everyone how great this university is?”
Being a good neighbor
Board chair Dorothy Horrell asked Parker to respond to a concern raised about how CSU would work out potential game-day conflicts with three places of worship located near the stadium site. Parker vowed to work with those congregations and the entire community as the project moves forward to make sure CSU is a good neighbor.
“I’m confident with can work around any potential issues with those churches,” he said. “We’re going to work hard over the next two years to engage with the community in the most appropriate way.”
Fundraising for the stadium continues and is expected to build momentum when construction begins in the coming weeks. For information about the stadium and fundraising, visit stadium.colostate.edu.