December 07, 2010

Planned McAndrew demolition will affect parking

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The first phase of demolition of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s venerable McAndrew Stadium will likely start later this month, and result in a few short-term parking restrictions.

The stadium, known affectionately as “The Mac,” was home to Saluki football for 73 years through 2009, with the Saluki Stadium christened for the 2010 season.

The SIU Board of Trustees will consider at its Dec. 9 meeting in Carbondale a proposal to award a bid for demolition of the stadium’s east and west grandstands, restrooms, concession areas, and partial demolition of the foundations. The track and playing surface, along with the throw areas on the east side of the stadium, will remain until construction of the new track area is complete, according to board documents.

The board meeting is set for 10 a.m., Dec. 9, in Student Center Ballroom B.

Pending board approval, demolition work will start Dec. 10 with completion by Feb. 28, so that the men’s and women’s track teams can begin preparing for the outdoor season.

Work to demolish the stadium’s west stands will result in the closing of a little less than half of the parking spaces in the lot between the stadium and the Student Center along Lincoln Drive, said Brian B. Mager, administrator of the University’s Department of Public Safety Traffic and Parking Division. The parking limitations will begin Dec. 20 and will continue until demolition work on the west side of the stadium is complete, he said.

Traffic will still enter and exit the parking lot as usual. The University apologizes for inconvenience during the demolition, and Mager said he expects the lot to fully reopen in mid-January.

Demolition on the west side of the stadium is expected to take a couple of weeks, followed by a couple of weeks of cleanup, said Philip S. Gatton, director of Plant and Service Operations. The hope is to have demolition crews dismantling the east stands when school resumes for the spring 2011 semester on Jan. 18.

The board will also consider and hear more about additional projects that dovetail with the McAndrew Stadium demolition work.

Trustees will consider a proposal to develop preliminary plans for design and construction of the Foundation-Alumni Building, which will be on a portion of available space following stadium demolition. Funding for the facility will come from the SIU Alumni Association, the SIU Foundation, and private support. The proposed building will house the Division of Institutional Advancement functions of the University, including Alumni Services, the SIU Alumni Association, Advancement Services, Constituent Relations and Special Events, the Office of Development, and SIU Foundation. A preliminary estimate is $30 million although cost estimates will be refined during design.

The board will also consider a request for project and budget approval for the design and construction of a three-story, approximately 95,000-square-foot Student Services Building. The student-oriented state-of-the-art facility will serve SIUC students, parents and alumni. The projected $34.5 million facility will include a welcome center, in addition to housing enrollment management functions including undergraduate admissions, registrar, financial aid, bursar’s office, and student services of the Graduate School, all which are now in Woody Hall. The building will also house Saluki First Year and University Housing offices. There will also be a visitor parking lot.

Funding will come from proceeds of the sale of revenue bonds, student fees, and funds available to University Housing.

The Student Services Building will be where the two-story parking garage, north of McAndrew Stadium, currently sits.

Other university functions, including business practices, could likely move into vacated space in Woody Hall, Gatton said.