Feb. 27, 2011
Basketball Training Facility Groundbreaking Ceremony
February 26, 2011
Dr. Kirk Schulz, President
"It is a great day to be a Wildcat. When I started as president about 18 or 19 months ago this basketball training facility is something that John (Currie) and I had talked about for a long time. It is great that we are here today celebrating a privately funded project that is going to make a big difference to this campus and our athletic program. This would not have been possible without many of you in the room and your financial contributions. I do want to acknowledge two particular donors this morning that really put this project over the top with their lead gifts and that is Rand and Patti Berney and Jim and Laura Johnson. We would like to acknowledge everyone associated with the university, faculty and staff, presidents cabinet and so on. As I travel around the country and visit lots of institutions, the one thing that everyone talks about is the relationship that a town has with its university. We have what I believe at Kansas State to be one of the strongest relationships between the city of Manhattan and Kansas State University. As we are here today we can see how this is all possible through the leadership of our athletics director John Currie."
John Currie, Athletics Director
"Obviously this is a very special day for our university and our athletics program. It is not just about our basketball program, it is really a statement about our entire intercollegiate athletics program. We are very excited about the future and the direction that we are headed. That is a testament to President Schulz's leadership and tone that he has set for the entire university and community over the last two years. I want to acknowledge Coach Martin and Coach Patterson who are here and the staff and Anya (Martin) who is here as well. Many of the Kansas State board of directors are here along with our athletics senior staff, which has been just tremendous in providing great leadership. You all know the card that I carry around in my pocket with our goals on it and the first goal on the list is a `world-class student-athlete experience.'
One of the most significant things about this project is that half of the dollars pledged for this facility has come from donors outside of the state of Kansas. So people outside of the state who have come to K-State, gone off in the world and been very successful are giving their dollars back to our community and state. Without intercollegiate enterprise those things do not happen. Those dollars come back into our state and create jobs and infrastructure for our community and we are very grateful for that. When I got here, I had been here for about four or five weeks and we went down to Kansas City and sat down with Frank Martin and Jon Fickle at Populous. Populous has designed facilities all around the world form Olympic venues to major sports facilities and they are the architect for this project. I went and sat down with them to see how this project has come and I cannot tell you how hard they have worked. Rick is a K-State architecture graduate and they have done an unbelievable job of not just designing an unbelievable facility but listening to what we really wanted. I think it is really fitting that we are building another chapter in K-State basketball today with the ground-breaking of this facility."
"It seems like yesterday we were in Kirk and Nole's living room. We were along with John Currie, Chad Wieberg and Mitsy Richards. Kirk was clearly laying out his vision for Kansas State University and it really impressed us. It that discussion he highlighted two capital projects that were at the top of his list in terms of importance to this university and K-State athletics. They were the welcome center and the basketball training facility. We really are blessed here at Kansas State to have the leaders we do from Kirk and on to Deb and Frank. It has been great help from the KSU foundation and K-State Athletics. They put us in a great situation to be able to give to both the welcome center and the basketball training facility."
"Not long after we had John Currie and Chad Wieberg back at our home for our guests and John was giving us his vision on K-State Athletics. In particular he was giving us the early drawings and plans of the basketball training facility. As we were talking and shown the financials it became very clear to us that this project needed our help and the impact that it would have to the athletic program. We feel that the coaches have done their jobs, the players have done their jobs and the administration has done their job, so now it is time for us to step up and do our part."
"I had the opportunity to hit one of the early road shows that Kirk and John went on. I came away very excited about the direction that K-State was headed. Our family has history of supporting Kansas State. I am third generation and I was raised to do something like this. I was puzzled because I would walk past my father in the 70's and see my father write checks to the K-State football program and Ernie Barrett would come out in the summer. As I got a little bit older I realized how close K-State has been to me. So, Laura and I began talking about giving to organizations that could really make a difference. When John told me we did not have practice facility I said `you have got to be kidding me right, how can you put programs in place that we had and not even incorporate practice facilities.' When I saw the design I really liked it because it was not on the cheap. It was not just throw up a medal building, throw a court in there and call it done. It could not have been done more economical and not near as significant as it needed to be to highlight the programs. So, Laura and I felt very compelled to be apart of it and in 20 years from now it will still be one of the top facilities in the country."