Colorado School of Mines is not a nationally known football school, so when students at the Century Society Dinner Saturday night announced the name for a planned new state-of-the-art football stadium, it raised a few questions about the priorities of the school. Recently, President Bill Scoggins sat down for an interview with “The Oredigger” to explain how this project came to be and to clear up any misconceptions.
Scoggins started by explaining that the existing stadium is “in engineering terms, basically at the end of its useful life.” The school has previously invested in the stadium in order to prolong its life, but believes at this point it would be “throwing good money after bad.” Thus, it became a goal of the Scoggins Administration to find a way to build a new stadium.
The school came up with a vision that, according to Scoggins was “more than just a football stadium.” The newly named Clear Creek Athletics Complex will be what Scoggins called a “campus wide facility” that would not just benefit the football team, but “a number of varsity sports, club sports, and intramural sports.” The new facilities will include a contemporary 5000-seat football stadium, locker room and training facilities, office and event facilities, functional space for club sports and intramurals, updates to the soccer pitch area, restroom facilities, and a modern press box.
The scope of this project implies a substantial financial commitment, but Scoggins made it clear that this was “obviously [something] that [they] had to fund with private money [and] gifts to the school.” Fortunately for the school, an anonymous donor came forward with a financial proposition that allowed the project to move forward.
The donor’s proposal financed three-quarters of the project’s cost and a gift that covered approximately one-third of the project. Scoggins explains that the donor essentially “gave [the school] a loan” to move the project forward while the foundation collects the remaining two-thirds. This type of proposal is called “bridge financing.”
In addition to officially announcing the project on Saturday, students also revealed the name of the new stadium, “Marv Kay Stadium.” The name, which honors legendary football player and school coach Marv Kay, was met with a standing ovation from those in attendance on Saturday night, including Kay himself. Kay graduated from Mines in 1960 and went on to be drafted by the Denver Broncos before returning to Mines as the head football coach from 1969-1994.
The project, which officially began in August, is slated for completion in September of 2014. The school has scheduled construction in two phases so as to allow for continuous football play at Harry Campbell Field.