Oregon State University is making a public statement of awesomeness to all competitors and Beaver Nation hopefuls as renovations continue at Reser Stadium. The Valley Football Center is in the midst of a massive facelift to the tune of $42 million. Unlike Michael Jackson’s nose, these renovations are both necessary to increase performance and will lead to a more attractive environment.
Support for this endeavor has been overwhelming. Thanks to the dedicated work of the Beaver Nation Victory Through Valley fundraising campaign, the entire project thus far has been privately funded.
“We are right at the tail end of the fundraising part of it,” said Associate Athletic Director for Communications Steve Fenk.
While plans for renovation extend further into the future, the focal areas for expansion as of now, according to Fenk, are “the locker room, the equipment room, and the sports medicine facility.”
The new locker rooms are estimated to be almost triple the size of current facilities—about the size of the end zone to be exact—and will serve not just the football team, but all student athletes and faculty that regularly frequent the facility. The new, state-of-the-art facility, as Fenk described it, is anticipated to be a place for all athletes to train and heal together. It will be a place where equipment that is past its prime can be replaced and there is always an open shower, even if you are a (dare I say) baseball player.
“We have outgrown our ability to store our equipment [and] are now using outside trailers and storage units,” lamented Fenk. As one of the prominent state sports organizations in Oregon, it seems unsightly to have athletes rummaging through storage units for equipment, a reason why storage capacity is receiving an overhaul. Fenk also mentioned revamping the Beaver Hall of Fame and adding some other fan-friendly attractions, like open areas to hold receptions and places to watch Beaver sports videos.
“Right now, the focus is on the Valley Football Center which is huge for us in terms of recruiting, functionality, and student athlete welfare,” said Fenk.
Although the current concentration is on finishing these projects within the year, OSU athletics has its eyes on the future. “We get this building done, then we are going to look at potentially remodeling the west side of the stadium, the old side,” said Fenk. He relayed that preliminary feasibility studies are already underway.
A victory for OSU sports and a testament to community support, Reser renovations are taking place for the people, by the people. And whatever the turnout for this coming season, Beaver enthusiasts can rest assured that OSU has its ducks in a row.
By Anthony Vitale