09-21-2004, 08:10 AM
Keep Camp Home!
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St Joe MO
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St. Joe to build training facility!
still trying to lure training camp to St. Joe!
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
Training facility to be built
By RICK DUNAWAY
An indoor practice facility, originally seen last year as a lure to bring the Kansas City Chiefs training camp to St. Joseph, may be built at Missouri Western State College after all.
The St. Joseph City Council has passed a resolution approving the concept of a partnership with Buchanan County and the college to build the structure, regardless of whether the Chiefs move their annual summer training camp to St. Joseph.
The Chiefs on Dec. 2, 2003, announced they were returning to River Falls, Wis., for their 2004 training camp, but left open the possibility that Missouri Western would be considered for future camps. The Chiefs haven’t announced their intentions for next year.
“It’s a win for the community, even if the Chiefs don’t come,” St. Joseph Mayor David Jones said.
The structure is expected to cost between $3 million and $5 million, depending upon the final specifications. It could house indoor soccer, tennis tournaments and other activities, both for recreation groups and the St. Joseph School District, Mr. Jones said.
The mayor said he hopes to have the project put up for bid within six weeks. Funding will come from city riverboat gaming funds, as well as county funds.
The facility, as now envisioned, is far different from the “bubble” that was considered when the city first made its proposal to the Chiefs.
“The bubble’s an air-supported structure, where you have to have an energy supply 24/7, so operational costs are high,” Missouri Western athletic director Mark Linder said. “It would cost about $75,000 a year just to keep it inflated.”
Instead, Mr. Linder said, officials are now proposing a steel supporting structure with either steel siding or a membrane.
Mr. Jones said the structure would be large enough to hold a football game.
“It’s a great recruiting tool for Missouri Western,” Mr. Jones said.
Missouri Western head football coach Jerry Partridge is enthused about the possibility of the facility, which could be used for practices and conditioning work in inclement weather.
“It gives you a Division I facility that nobody else in Division II has,” Mr. Partridge said. “We recruit against people with major stadiums. Some of the schools we recruit against have facilities that are just outstanding. But this is something nobody else in our league has.”
The exact location of the structure has not been determined.
“We are still doing some feasibility studies as to what would be the best site, for the community, on our campus, so we can get them access to the facility,” Mr. Linder said. “Also, we have to take into consideration where the utilities are at on our campus. We have it narrowed down to two or three sites, but we’re hesitant to comment on that until we get with our engineers and the architect.”
Mr. Linder said officials are now developing a use agreement between the partners, prior to putting the project out for bid. Mr. Jones said the actual construction is expected to take about six months.