sealPurdue Letter from the President

September, 1999

At its September 17 meeting in West Lafayette, the Purdue Board of Trustees authorized an initiative that will make Ross-Ade Stadium one of the most exciting and fan-friendly football venues in the country.

The venerable stadium has served the Purdue football program well for 75 years, but it is due for a major renovation. Athletic Director Morgan Burke and his staff, working with several private consulting firms, have developed an ingenious three-phase plan that will transform Ross-Ade into a facility that will allow Boilermaker fans to enjoy the action in a comfortable setting with all the conveniences of a contemporary stadium. Among the features of the first phase of renovation will be:

• A wider concourse and wider aisles to improve traffic flow both into and out of the stadium.

• Wider, more comfortable seats.

• Improved accommodations for those with physical disabilities.

• A substantial increase in the quality and quantity of restrooms; the number of these facilities will more than double for men and more than triple for women.

• More concession areas with a wider variety of menu items.

• A completely new facility to serve the print and broadcast media with state-of-the-art technology.

• A new sound system that will enhance sound distribution and quality.

• More luxury suites with improved accommodations.

• A unique Technology Educational Area, designed to be an evolving showplace for the latest advances in technology and communication.

• Extensive repair and renovation of the stadium structure.

• A beautiful new brick facade that will make Ross-Ade's exterior consistent with and complementary to other campus architecture.

Phase I of the renovation will start at the end of the 2000 regular season, with completion scheduled for the summer of 2002. The Ross-Ade Foundation, which owns the stadium, will assume the debt for the project and will recover the costs – estimated at $55-60 million – through fees for private suites and club seating. Like all Purdue athletics projects, this one will be carried out without the use of state funds or student fees.

Phases II and III will add additional seating on the east and north sides of the stadium and will be implemented as demand for tickets increases. With the completion of all three phases, the current seating capacity 67,332 would grow to about 80,000.

This is a highly ambitious plan that will require careful management, but like other projects that Morgan Burke has led, we can count on its being done with quality.

Another important vote by the Trustees involved the appointment of a new distinguished professor. W. Kent Fuchs, head of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, became the Michael J. and Katherine R. Birck Distinguished Professor.

A world-renowned expert in the field of dependable computing, Kent is also a dynamic administrator with a clear vision for his school. He becomes the 70th member of the Purdue faculty to hold the rank of either distinguished or named professor.

Michael and Katherine Birck's generosity to Purdue has been recognized in a variety of other ways, including the assignment of their name to the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.

The most visible construction project on the West Lafayette campus right now is a new aquatics center, now in its early stages, but soon to have a great impact on the quality of student life, as well as Boilermaker swimming and diving teams. The new facility is being built so that it will be integral with the Recreational Sports Center where thousands of Purdue students exercise and compete every day.

The building project also includes an extensive renovation of the Recreational Sports Center.

Steven C. Beering