The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation announced today that it has raised $4 million toward the $4.3 million needed to fund the second phase of construction at the Oshkosh Sports Complex. In anticipation of reaching the fundraising goal, the University is making preparations for construction to begin at the site.
“Due to the competitive lending market and a positive outlook for continued support from the community, we are confident that we will close the gap between funds raised and construction costs by mid-summer,” said UW Oshkosh Foundation president Arthur H. Rathjen. “This has been a very successful time for the Foundation, thanks to the investment of $1.5 million by the Oshkosh Convention and Visitors Bureau, a $500,000 matching pledge from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, $1 million earmarked by UW Oshkosh students – $300,000 for plumbing upgrades and $700,000 for other renovations – and many other smaller but generous donations.”
Construction on the second phase of renovations will begin this spring and is expected to wrap up by mid-August – in time for the fall football season. The renovations will include a new plaza entrance; updated and expanded locker rooms for approximately 300 student athletes, coaching offices and classrooms; and improved restroom facilities, softball field and parking. While the University is confident it will raise all of the funds necessary to fully complete the project, officials have identified project deductions that can be made in the event of cost overruns or fundraising shortfalls.
“We are moving forward with this project fully confident that we will be successful in raising the final funds needed to complete it,” said Chancellor Richard H. Wells. “However, we have done our due diligence and have identified areas of the project that could be completed at a later date without significantly impacting the quality of this nationally distinctive facility.”
The complex, which saw $5.5 million in enhancements in the first phase, currently features state-of-the-art J. J. Keller Field, a football/soccer field featuring synthetic turf designed to reduce injury. The field is one of the Midwest’s finest, in company with Camp Randall Field and Lambeau Field. Phase one also saw the renovation of the stadium, softball and baseball fields and the addition of an Olympic-quality outdoor track.
The Oshkosh Sports Complex is a unique collaboration between the Oshkosh Area School District, the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the Unified Catholic Schools and the UW Oshkosh Foundation. Based on economic impact models and other projections, it is anticipated that the complex will generate at least $25 million annually for the local economy.
“Over the years, taxpayers are saving millions of dollars,” said Wells. “Because we were able to raise funds for one community facility rather than separate facilities for each of the four educational partner institutions, we have been able to avoid unnecessary duplication of expensive facilities and the maintenance costs associated with these kinds of sports complexes.”
For more information about the Oshkosh Sports Complex, visit www.titans.uwosh.edu/OshkoshSportsComplex.