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January 3, 2013     Cheney Free Press
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January 3, 2013
 

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Thursday, January 3, 2013 Free Press Page 9 Gateway continued from page 1 "It's more than just the stadium," University Advancement director of development Tim Szy- manowski said. The first phase is a seven-story building replacing the existing grandstands on the east side of Rods. While the ac- tual design isn't finalized yet - Szymanowski said they are in the "schematic design" phase - the vision laid out by university of- ficials has been enough to inspire participation from several outside sources, including architectural firms BLRB and Parame- trix, which provided five months and $140,000 worth of work as an in- kind donation Szymanowski said schematic design is about 12-15 percent of the proj- ect. It's a process that establishes the overall footprint and space al- locations, but doesn't define space attributes, through having external agencies and organiza- tions provide design cri- teria, such as the city of Cheney with information on easements and permits as well as the NCAA with requirements on things like how clOse the seating can be to the field. Even though sche- matic design is the realm between concept and ac- tual construction, there are a lot of things the university foresees going into Gateway. The first floor of the facility will house new home and away team locker rooms as well as rooms for of- ficials, cheerleaders, an athletic training room, strength training room and the new home of football operations. There will also be locker rooms for Eastern's marching band. And there are plans for retail space. Right now that could likely include an EWU gear store, but also feature food amenities such as a sports bar, pizza shop, casual restaurant and even a bank and a cell phone store. Szymanowski cau- tioned that the overall -square footage, and how much each retail piece may want or need, won't be tallied until construc- tion and negotiated oc- cupancy are finalized. The second floor would contain more retail as well as an all- athlete student academic success center. General admission seating with a concourse and conces- sions will be on the third floor, with commercial office space possible on the fourth and fifth. Some occupant ideas here are health care providers, businesses Szymanowski said that could be linked into existing university programs such as physi- cal therapy that would provide students some "live fire" experience in their major fields. The sixth floor would contain club seating and related amenities while the seventh floor would UPDATE;:; Eastern Officials:released schematics for the project;at the November meeting of the university ard of trustees; viding and estimat cost at$60 million to$70 million :overall:for the 346;000*square4o0t facility. be home to more pricey but Sz) loge, cabana and execu- tive suites. The design and number of these will again be determined by Eastern's survey results. An overall estimated price tag of between $28 million and $30 million was presented at the March trustees meeting, those are early numbers and they're not really spending much time on price yet. And that's another one of the many com- ponents to the Gateway Project - revenue. If ap- proved by the board it's up to the university "Endowments aren't cutting it completely anymore. Once this is paid off, it gives the Foundation a nice revenue options to invest in scholarships." University Advancement director of development "tim Szymanowski Foundation, Eastern's fundraising-arm, to find the money to build and manage the facility as the owner/operator. Paying off costs and operating expenses must be covered by revenue generated at the building. To help them gain a clearer picture on that aspect of the project, Szymanowski and other Foundation and universi- ty officials took a field trip this summer to universi- ties similar in size and composition as Eastern that had built a Gateway- style project: Appalachian State, James Madison and Liberty University. Once the new portion of Rods is completed it will serve as a corner- stone to other university development ideas. More seating could be built in the north and south end zones of Rods, turning it into a 26,000-27,000-seat venue, while Washington would be enhanced. Tak- ing into account Eastern's land holding, developed and undeveloped, on the west side of the street, Washington is essentially the geographic center of the campus. Once the Gateway fa- cility is paid for the rev- enues would be available to the Foundation to help fund other areas for East- ern students. "Endowments aren't cutting it completely anymore," Szymanowski said. "Once this is paid off, it gives the Foundation a nice revenue options to invest in scholarships." John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheney- freepress.com. Illustration from PCS Structural Solutions The view of the proposed Gateway Project looking northwest from Washington Street. Retail space, including the relocated EWU bookstore and new restaurant space would also be part of the facility. 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