CSU–Pueblo improves sports facilities

Located 100 miles south of Denver, Colorado State University–Pueblo is a fully accredited university with an enrollment of nearly 5,200 students. Surprisingly, the school didn’t always have a football program.

“The football program was dropped in 1984,” said Lee Meisner, a project manager with Friends of Football (FOF), a non-profit organization based in Pueblo.  “In 2007, FOF raised enough money to bring back the football program along with women’s track and men’s wrestling.

In 2016, FOF embarked on a new campaign, called “Lift Up the Pack,” with the goals of raising money to replace the turf on the football field, remodel the basement of the existing field house and build a 10,000-square-foot weight training facility. “We broke ground in April and had our first home game on September 10,” said Meisner. So what did the upgrades entail?

The basement of the field house was renovated, and the 3,800-square-foot weight room was transformed to include more lockers, an expanded equipment room, and, most importantly, a new training room for the student-athletes.

The new building features a 10,000-square-foot weight room that is nearly three times the size of the previous facility. Of that space, 5,000-square-feet of it features Ecore Athletic Performance Monster Roll surfacing. The former rubber surface was only .25-inches thick and wasn’t engineered to have weights dropped on it. “The benefit now is that the entire weight lifting area is a drop zone for our weights,” said Meisner.

The new weight room features 14 custom, inlaid lifting platforms made out of Monster Roll. Designed for extreme strength and conditioning, this 22.5mm thick product features a 10.5mm Performance Beast Roll field united to a 12mm ShockPad. The resulting triple durometer system combines the durability and firm footing desired in strength training with the ergonomic demands of aggressive functional training in one surface.

Adjacent to the lifting platforms is 4,200-square-feet of Training Ground with Nike Grind TurfX. This surface features a 35mm thick system comprised of a 25mm turf wear layer field united to a 10mm Nike Grind SmashPad. The TurfX SmashPad is comprised of materials generated from recycled athletic shoes. This surface’s thatch support system also eliminates the need for infill, making it an ideal training turf.

“The Turf features alternating colors of red, blue, and white every five yards and has our team logo in the middle,” said Meisner. “It turned out great. It looks awesome. Everyone loves the turf. From burpees to yoga to lineman drills, the turf works great.”

In addition to the weight room, when the field house was remodeled, it was upgraded to include a wet room with an underwater treadmill and 12-person cold water tub. Due to the continuous water in this environment, a special safety surfacing, 1,500-square-reet of Ecore’s Elevate Aqueous was installed. This 2mm vinyl flooring is ideal for wet areas and is engineered with slip resistant particles and a raised emboss for added slip resistance.

The rooftop of the field house also was renovated to include a tailgate area for games. “It’s a party deck that is built into a hill, and the school has special rooftop tailgates here on game days,” said Meisner.

In the end, FOF had 95 donors and raised $3.5M for all three of the renovations in only nine months. So, how was it to set a budget and be expected to fundraise at the same time?

“It was interesting; but, in a way, it was a positive, because we were always conscious of the budget,” said Meisner. “Managing both the revenue and the expense side of the project demanded a lot of the local construction community.  The citizens and organizations of Pueblo delivered like never before.”