By Ed Enoch
The University of Alabama System board of trustees on Friday will consider plans to revise the designs for the renovation of Bryant-Denny Stadium and increase the budget of the project by $17 million.
The full board meets Friday morning at 9:30 a.m. in the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus. The board’s Physical Properties Committee approved the revised architectural designs and the new budget Thursday afternoon.
UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne presented the revisions on Thursday.
The university is proposing increasing the budget from $75.5 million to $92.5 million as a result of changes to the planning for the stadium including new, larger video scoreboards in the corners of the stadium, more elevators, and student spaces on the southeast ground level.
“We certainly acknowledge that some of the plans have changed but they still very much meet the needs across the board,” Byrne said.
The revised plans call for four larger scoreboards in the corners of the end zones instead of a previously proposed larger video board in the upper deck of the south end zone. The scoreboards would be 60% larger than the existing ones and have better technology.
The student terrace in the upper deck of the south end zone would be eliminated in favor of a student concourse at the southeast ground level entrance that still includes concessions stands, restrooms, social spaces and televisions.
Bryne estimated the new concourse would be about 10,000 square feet and provide a shaded area for students to socialize.
“I don’t know of any stadium in the country that has an area like this designated for the students, so it will be a nice addition for them,” Byrne said.
The loge box seating originally planned for the upper south end zone would be moved to level 6 and the design would add two new stair towers on the west side of the stadium. The athletic department also wants to add a new larger elevator and new enclosed elevator lobby on the ground level to the southwest and refurbish the existing elevators to the Founders Club.
Last fall, Alabama unveiled a 10-year, $600 million initiative called the Crimson Standard to upgrade the stadium, Coleman Coliseum, the Mal Moore Athletic Facility and other athletic facilities.
The stadium renovations, which were unveiled with the launch of the campaign, are part of the first of three phases of the 10-year capital plan.
Phase one of the project, which includes Bryant-Denny, the softball stadium and student athletic complex, will cost $111.6 million, Byrne said.
The committee on Thursday also approved the architectural designs for the $3 million renovation and addition to the John and Ann Rhoads Softball Stadium and increased the budget of the Mal M. Moore facility renovation by $1.5 million to $16.1 million to add 6,855 square feet of space for sports science programs and hydrotherapy on the southeast corner and scrap plans to re-build existing space for strength and conditioning.
The plans still include more premium seating options including an open-air terrace on the west side, the relocation of the press box to the east side of the stadium, upgrades to the locker room and recruiting lounge, a renovation to the tunnel that the team uses to enter the field, and an extension of the Walk of Champions w into the Game Day Locker Room via a new tunnel.
The student seating capacity will not change in the stadium, Bryne said. The overall capacity will be reduced by a few hundred seats but it will still be more than 100,000, he said.
The university is also requesting approval to award construction contracts to the future lowest responsible bidder as part of plans to complete the project by next August.
The funding plan would also be modified under the revision.
The project will be funded with $48.4 million in bonds, $25 million raised during the capital campaign, $10 million from the Crimson Tide Foundation, and an internal loan of $9 million of university funds to the athletics department that is to be repaid. The original proposal called for the project to be funded with $40.4 million in bonds, $25 million from the capital campaign and $10 million from the Crimson Tide Foundation.
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