Press box on track to start construction

The $3 million dollar renovation is still coming despite budget cuts

Nate Neary, Staff Writer

The $1.7 million WSC press box renovations will continue as planned despite budget cuts signed into law by Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Mike Powicki, WSC’s athletic director, said that $1.3 million will be raised through outside funding, which entails $1 million coming from fundraising and $300,000 coming through a facility enhancement grant provided by the Nebraska State College System.

“Due to the fact that we have been working on this project for nearly two years, invested time and resources to its completion, I don’t see the college changing its commitment to the project at this point,” Powicki said.

“The support is still there to create a much-improved space to support our student-athletes, overall recruiting efforts, WSC stakeholders and the students/staff involved with the WSC radio and television productions.”

“Anyone who has been in the current press box understands that this is not a positive representation of WSC,” Powicki added.

Highlighting the shortcomings of the current press box, Powicki laid out a long list of areas to improve on.

“The current press box is over 40 years old. It leaks water, is not ADA accessible, it is not ventilated and is completely undersized. I am confident students and staff who are required to climb to the second floor will attest that it is simply hazardous and unsafe,” Powicki said.

“It was a matter of finding the right time to mobilize our fundraising efforts and align them with the college’s standard construction/capital projects resources. We are very excited about getting it completed.”

WSC is not the only institution in the region to be subject to fiscal shortcomings.

According to Powicki, many colleges and universities in WSC’s own conference are being burdened by financial difficulties.

“First of all, what people need to understand is that Wayne State is not alone during these challenging fiscal times. Many of our fellow institutions in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference are going through similar situations, if not much worse,” Powicki said. “Enrollment and state funding are down everywhere in our region.”

“I think the college is taking the right approach, using a strategic analysis of spending at the department level.”