Pittsburg State University - Pittsburg, Kansas
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News and information from Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, Kansas.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Pitt State, Army National Guard to break ground on unusual joint project

The guest list at Saturday's groundbreaking ceremony at the Pittsburg State University Student Recreation Center/Pittsburg Armory is the best evidence of the kind of cooperation it has taken to build this multi-use building. Representatives from PSU student government and the university administration will be joined by Army officers, national and state elected officials and officials from the City of Pittsburg for the public event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. south of the Veterans Memorial at Ford and Rouse streets.

The $15-million, 97,000-sq.-ft. building will serve a wide variety of functions. Part of it will be devoted to student recreation and academic offices for the departments of Health, Physical Education and Recreation; and Military Science/ROTC. The recreation center will include cardio equipment, free weights, an aerobics room and gymnasiums. For the Kansas Army National Guard, the armory will include offices, classrooms, an assembly hall, locker rooms, a kitchen, training and support spaces and an exterior compound.

Sen. Sam Brownback; Congressman Jim Ryun; the adjutant general of Kansas, Maj. Gen. Tod M. Bunting; PSU SGA President Ginger Niemann; and PSU President Tom Bryant will speak. In addition to the speakers, the groundbreaking ceremony will include music by the PSU Brass Quartet and a Kansas Army National Guard Black Hawk helicopter flyover.

Funding for this new building is a mixture of state and federal funds and private donations to the university. The foundation for this rare partnership began 11 years ago when the Kansas Army National Guard (KANG) approached the City of Pittsburg to discuss the need for a new armory.

Over the years, the possibility of a joint project between the KANG and a local entity was kept alive. In 2001, the Kansas Legislature appropriated $410,000 for the preliminary planning and design of a joint-use facility. The City of Pittsburg appropriated funds to help with site preparation and infrastructure the following year. The final pieces to the puzzle fell into place in 2005 and 2006 when the Kansas Legislature appropriated funds for the building, the Kansas delegation helped secure federal dollars and the university was able to identify private gifts for the new facility.

Construction on the Pittsburg State University Student Recreation Center/Pittsburg Armory is expected to begin in the late fall and is expected to take about 18 months. Horst Terrill & Karst Architects, PA, of Topeka and Overland Park is the principal architect on the project. A general contractor will be named following a competitive bid process.

---Pitt State---