Texas Tech University is experiencing growing pains, but there certainly isn't anyone complaining about that. Right now the largest construction project on campus is the expansion and renovation of Jones SBC Stadium. It's a multi-stage, multi-year, and multi-million dollar project, and with the first home game of the season less than 48 hours away, we went inside the hard hat area to get a progress report.
If you don't think it looks ready for some football, think again. "Jones Stadium is moving right along, we're ready for the first game on Saturday," says Michael Ellicott with Facilities and Planning Construction.
Stage II of the Jones Stadium renovation project won't be complete until next season, but the rest of the stadium will be up and running this Saturday. "We've got it safe and secure. You'll have great access, about like what you had last year," says Ellicott. In fact, if you were at a game last year, you won't notice many changes at all this year, other than, of course, the giant addition to the west side of the stadium taking shape. This $52 million stage in the stadium renovation and expansion includes a club seating level complete with escalators and elevators, 47 luxury suites, a new press box, and a stadium operations center. "This year, we're building the west stadium building. That includes 1,100 club seats, 47 luxury suites, stadium operations, press box," says Ellicott.
What is complete is the $22 million Stage I. It was complete a year ago and includes concessions, restrooms, and 2,400 additional seats in the north end zone. Stage II is on schedule to be complete by this time next year. Jones Stadium is a pay as you go renovation project. When it's all said and done, the third and final stage will include 10,000 additional seats, a field wall, and Spanish-Style Architecture around the entire stadium.
Throughout this season construction on the stadium will continue. However, construction will stop at noon on each Friday before game day in order for security sweeps to be made on Friday nights. Then on Monday mornings, construction will pick right back up again.