March 30, 2011

UMHB looks to move on campus

More news about: Mary Hardin-Baylor
Artist's renderings.

After 13 years of playing at nearby Belton High School, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced that the premier firm in sports architecture, Populous, has been hired to design a football stadium for the Belton campus. The project will feature an innovative design in which the stadium will be built in conjunction with a new student union building, which will anchor the visitors’ side of the stadium.

Early estimates call for the stadium to carry a price tag between $20 million and $22 million. Planners hope to break ground on the project in early 2012, with the goal of having the stadium ready for play in the fall 2013 season.

The Populous name is well known in sports circles as the designer of such prominent, award-winning venues as Yankee Stadium in New York and Minute Maid Park, Toyota Center, Reliant Stadium and the new Dynamo Stadium in Houston. Populous has also worked with more than 120 colleges and universities across the country, having designed such projects as TCF Bank Stadium for the University of Minnesota, Rice University’s Autry Court renovation, and the University of South Carolina ballpark. 

The firm, formed when HOK's sports division split off from the rest of the firm, rose to prominence with its design for Oriole Park at Camden Yards in 1994, which earned the prestigious American Institute of Architects National Honor Award for Architecture. Populous repeated that feat two more times in 1995 with their work on Progressive Field in Cleveland and Hong Kong Stadium, becoming the only sports architecture firm to earn the AIA recognition three times. With offices in the United Kingdom and Australia as well as the U.S., Populous has become known as the leading designer of venues for football, baseball, basketball, and soccer around the world, specializing in structures designed to draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences.

Lead architect for the UMHB project will be Earl Santee, AIA, who serves on the Populous board of directors and works from the firm’s office in Kansas City. During his 26-year career at Populous, Santee has become one of the most experienced sports designers in the world. His portfolio of projects have helped define cities and campuses; it includes such projects as the new Yankee Stadium, Target Field in Minneapolis, Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, the Mile High Stadium renovation in Denver, Nelson Wolff Stadium in San Antonio, and new ballparks for the universities of North Carolina and South Carolina. Santee became involved in the UMHB project through discussions with a friend of the university, Houston Astros owner Drayton McLane, Jr., who worked with Santee on the creation of Minute Maid Park and other projects over the last 15 years.

“This distinctive project will merge student life and sports into an authentic experience in the heart of the campus,” said Santee. “It’s more than just a football stadium – it’s redefining an entire campus community.”

The new UMHB stadium will be built near the center of the campus on University Drive, adjacent to the Frank and Sue Mayborn Campus Center. By locating the stadium near the Mayborn Center (which houses the university’s arena), the new student union building, and nearby intramural fields, planners aim to create a “student activity zone” surrounded by student residence halls and apartments. 

“Our goal,” said president Randy O’Rear, “is to encourage students to become involved in many facets of campus life by placing these activity areas within easy walking distance of where our students live. We know that students who become involved in campus life are more likely to persist in their studies and graduate; we want our campus to be a place where our students are involved both in and out of the classroom in activities that help them learn and grow as we prepare them for successful lives of leadership and service.”

Plans call for the stadium to seat up to 10,000 spectators, with room for future expansions if needed. In addition to locker rooms, concession areas, and restroom facilities, the stadium will include a press box, meeting rooms, and suites for entertaining university guests. The stadium’s proximity to the new student union building will make it possible for the student union to form a backdrop behind the visitor’s stands; banquet rooms and student dining areas in the SUB will be strategically placed to incorporate views of the stadium interior to provide a one-of-a-kind experience for students and visitors to the campus.

The stadium will be the first permanent home for the UMHB Crusader football team, which has achieved rapid national prominence since its first season in fall 1998. Known as “The Cru,” the team has posted an impressive 121-32 win-loss record in 13 seasons. UMHB has won or shared eight of the last nine American Southwest Conference football championships and played in the Stagg Bowl in 2004. The team has made two other trips to the national semifinals and is one of only two Division III programs to have won at least one postseason game in each of the last seven seasons.

Coach Pete Fredenburg is clearly excited about “The Cru” getting a stadium of its own.

“Our team and our coaches are extremely excited about the prospect of playing our games at a stadium on campus,” said Fredenburg. “It is thrilling to see the renderings and to talk with Earl Santee about the project and see the incredible knowledge that he has about designing these facilities.” 

“I think the stadium is going to be a great landmark for our campus,” Fredenburg added. “Obviously it will enhance our recruiting efforts for football, and I believe it will also benefit the recruiting efforts for the university as a whole.”

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Millsaps at Belhaven
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
1:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats