JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Lincoln University is moving forward with a major stadium renovation project after the board of curators approved a contract Wednesday.
Byrne & Jones Construction of St. Louis will make $1.8 million in improvements that are set to be completed by August 15.
Phase One of the renovations includes artificial turf to replace the current grass, a scoreboard with a video screen, a new sound system and LED lights.
"It's going to be a welcome addition to our campus," said John Moseley, the university's athletic director. "... Eventually we'd like to move more into the stadium itself. The bleachers, we'd like to add chair-backs in a portion of our bleachers, updates to our restroom facilities and maybe concession stands."
The university has agreed to take out a $2.5 million bond package it will make payments on over the next decade, according to Moseley.
This semester, the university also started collecting a student fee of $10 per credit hour after it passed a student vote last fall. Some of those funds will also go toward the project.
"I'm excited to see the finished product of the stadium and to see like what new things Lincoln is going to bring to us," student Briona Adams said. "I just hope that it's finished while I'm still here."
The student fees are expected to generate about $500,000 a year and will also help bring in new athletes, according to Moseley.
"It's really helping us shore up the disparity in scholarships in many different competitors," Moseley said. "We're going to address scholarships as well as facility improvements. ... In addition to help with transportation costs to two away-from-home contests."
Moseley said the university will also start providing some game-day giveaways at athletic events with the student fees.
"I can see where some people are frustrated, cause it's like I'm paying for something that if I'm not a football player, if I'm not an athlete, that I won't get to use," Adams said. "... I definitely see the advantages, and I mean, I'll be sitting in the stands."