MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- The face of Kansas State University’s football stadium will change forever Saturday.
After 20 seasons, the Dev Nelson press box is being torn down to make way for the new $75 million West Stadium Center. The press box opened in 1993 featuring 22 luxury suites and a media center.
"It’s very exciting to be working on a project for your alma mater and favorite team. With the success of the Wildcats, it’s been awesome. There’s been a lot of buzz about around this project," said Bill Hedge, construction executive with Mortenson/GE Johnson Construction.
Construction on the north and south portions of the West Stadium Center has been ongoing throughout the fall.
Mortenson/GE Johnson Construction worked with local authorities and a demolition expert to bring down the building Saturday morning. It’s already been stripped down to its shell to cut down on dust and debris.
The landmark structure is being rigged with 172 explosive charges. The implosion will last only seconds.
"It’s anticipated that once they push the button, the existing structure will take about 7-8 seconds to crumble in on itself," Hedge told WIBW.
Then it’s out with the old and in with the new. Two towers will go up on the north and south end and crews will build the center structure where the old press box used to be.
"A lot of prefabrication has been done off site in the plants, the steel plants. You’ll see the north tower shoot up. All that steel has been prefabricated. It’s ready to go in place. The south tower will top out here in the next two weeks. Then we’ll do the foundation in the center portion and in early February, we’ll connect the dots so to say between the two towers," Hedge explained.
"People always ask me, ‘Are you going to be done in time?’ There’s no option. We will be done on time for opening day of 2013," he added.
Officials want fans and Manhattan residents to be aware of the safety guidelines and restrictions being implemented for this process, which has been set for 9 a.m., on December 15, 2012.
The perimeter of Bill Snyder Family Stadium, which includes the west and east parking lots, the Vanier Complex and Bramlage Coliseum, will be restricted to authorized personnel beginning at 7 a.m. on December 15. At 8:50 a.m., and until the completion of the demolition, traffic along College and Kimball Avenues near the stadium will be shut down for safety concerns.
Fans wishing to view the demolition will be directed to the perimeter sidewalks along College Avenue and Kimball Avenue, as well as public access areas to the north and west of Kimball and College. Parking for public viewing will be available in the grassy lot east of the stadium by the Recreation Complex from 6 a.m. until 8:50 a.m.
Fans may also watch the demolition live on K-StateHD.TV at www.kstatesports.com.
FROM KANSAS STATE UNIVERSITY:
The West Stadium Center will feature amenities for all fans at Bill Snyder Family Stadium. New concessions, restrooms and ticket offices will replace the current west side facilities, which were originally built in 1968. Additionally, a new Fan Store and Hall of Honor will be included on the main Concourse Level.
In addition to being a first-class facility for K-State student-athletes and fans, the West Stadium Center at Bill Snyder Family Stadium will serve as the northwest gateway to campus and a rallying point for the University’s visionary "K-State 2025" plan. The structure will make a statement to the Big 12 Conference, the nation and prospective student-athletes that K-State is committed to competing at the highest level of intercollegiate athletics.
The Terrace Level will feature a dining hall to serve the daily dietary needs of all K-State student-athletes. The Tailgate Terrace will be a great place to enjoy the unique tailgate atmosphere of a K-State game day.
The 2nd, 3rd and 4th levels of the West Stadium Center will have outdoor Suite, Club and Loge seating. These seats will have the best sight lines in College Football and will be the premier seating area for Wildcat Fans. All suite, loge and club season-ticket holders will enjoy an all-inclusive food and beverage experience in the spacious lounges located behind each seating area.
The 5th level of the West Stadium Center will be designated for media and coaches on game-days and will be the new permanent home for the K-State Media relations office.