The Oklahoman

Oklahoma State regents approve athletic facility upgrades

- Scott Wright

STILLWATER — The Oklahoma State University A&M board of regents approved nearly $7 million in athletic facility upgrades on Friday, including projects for the football, softball and wrestling teams.

The improvemen­ts are designed to “boost student-athlete recruitmen­t, academics, safety and amenity experience­s,” according to a statement released by the university.

“Today our regents voted to renovate and enter into gift-in-kind agreements for multiple projects that will help us continue our legacy of athletics excellence at Oklahoma State University,” OSU president Kayse Shrum said. “I applaud their leadership and decision to invest in our facilities along with the generous support of private donors who made this possible.”

The most sizeable of the projects will take place in Boone Pickens Stadium, where a new football recruiting center will be developed on the coaches’ level of the west end zone area.

The renovation will combine technology and modern retail concepts to highlight OSU’s football history, traditions, accomplish­ments and memorabili­a. The area will house a variety of seating options, a snack bar, gaming tables and a satellite locker room where recruits can sample OSU’s varied uniform combinatio­ns.

Football renovation­s also include upgrades to the Cowboy locker room with new lockers and an updated lounge area.

“At Oklahoma State, we have set the standard in football facilities for more than a decade,” football coach Mike Gundy said. “The continuing developmen­t of these areas in which our team spends so much of its time shows our ongoing commitment to keep Cowboy Football among the nation’s winningest programs.

“We are deeply appreciati­ve of our fans and alumni for helping make this happen. These improvemen­ts come at an important time.”

The softball stadium will get a new playing surface, changing from natural grass outfield to synthetic turf with a prescribed dirt infield. Renovation­s also include a new outfield wall and protective netting behind home plate.

At Gallagher-Iba Arena, the wrestling locker room area will undergo a 4,200 square foot renovation including new lockers and amenities. In addition, a team space will be created by adding a study area, kitchen, game room and lounge.

All projects are scheduled for completion throughout 2022.

“We are greatly appreciati­ve of our donors in the OSU family for helping us maintain and upgrade our championsh­ip-level facilities across all of our programs,” athletic director Chad Weiberg said.

“Their investment is indicative of their faith in our athletic department and in the coaching staffs who have led us to national prominence.”

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