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Vision Plan: The Concept Is There, Now Oklahoma State Is Asking Donors to Turn It to Reality

‘I think it’s a great day for the future, but it is really just a roadmap.’



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — The unimagined has been imagined, but now it’s on Oklahoma State’s donors to turn it into reality.

Oklahoma State Athletics laid out the “OSU Vision Plan” on Monday morning, laying out concepts for facility upgrades for softball, wrestling, basketball, track, football, equestrian and golf. All of the upgrades will cost an estimated $325 million. OSU athletic director Chad Weiberg said the plan is for “pretty much all” of that money to come from donors.

“I think it’s a great day for the future, but it is really just a roadmap,” Weiberg said. “This is the plan, and as we’ve talked internally, with our team, [senior associate AD] Larry Reece and [deputy athletic director] Reid Sigmon and others involved, we’re very aware that now is when the work begins. This is just the start. Now, the real work begins both in the fundraising and acquiring the resources, but also in the next steps of the planning and construction. This will be a long process, but you got to start somewhere. Today is the start.”

As far as the pecking order of gets done first, that is also on the donors. If a donor is willing to pony up the money for a particular project that’s where it will go. Over recent years, it feels like most of the calls from the fanbase have come for upgrades to softball and wrestling in particular.

Wrestling just received an upgraded locker room, but the new practice facility is set to replace a small parking lot north of Gallagher-Iba Arena, so the already-existent locker room will be attached.

As far as softball goes, Weiberg said OSU “clearly” has an issue with the current stadium, that issue being that there aren’t enough seats. With as good as the Cowgirls have been under Kenny Gajewski (making three straight Women’s College World Series), those tickets have been among the hardest to get in town at the current stadium.

Then OSU track coach Dave Smith is one of the only Power Five coaches in the area without an indoor track. Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas and Kansas State all have some sort of indoor facility to train in. Even without the luxury, Smith’s Cowgirls just won a Big 12 indoor title, and last year Taylor Roe won an individual indoor national championship without an indoor track to train in.

So how do you decide who gets at the front of the line?

“That is part of the reason that we wanted to put a whole roadmap out in front of the family is the athletic department didn’t want to be the ones that were determining the priority,” Weiberg said. “We didn’t want to be the ones determining the speed or timeline. The priorities and the timeline, that will all be set by our supporters and their willingness to step up and help make these projects possible.”

OSU will get some sort of help in regards to the Human Performance Innovation Complex and Football Center. The Human Performance Innovation Complex part of that mouthful won’t need to be funded by OSU Athletics donors, but the football side will, maximizing some efficiencies. Weiberg said “all of football” will move into the new complex with some aspects obviously staying over in Boone Pickens Stadium for gamedays. The move makes sense with how often Mike Gundy’s Cowboys are across the street at the Sherman E. Smith Training Center compared to on the field at Boone Pickens Stadium.

So, as seemingly everything in this world comes down to, this will all be determined by money and just how fast OSU can get that money. There won’t be a new softball stadium or an indoor track ready next week. This was just the beginning of the next phase of Oklahoma State’s Athletic Village.

“So as far as the timeline, we don’t have one specifically for a couple of different reasons,” Weiberg said. “One, this will all be predicated on gathering the resources needed to do these, but regardless, it’s a years-in-the-making project. Even if we had all of the resources readily available now, you can see that these projects will take a lot of time to design and plan for and build. The timeline will be set by how we are able to gain the resources.”

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