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The Spanos Stadium renovation remains on schedule to be finished for the fall 2006 season, according to project manager Perry Judd.

“They’re moving right along on the concrete structure,” Judd said.

With the recent rains, football coach Rich Ellerson is not sure whether or not the stadium will be ready for opening day. He said the construction team is optimistic, but not certain. Ellerson has helped with fundraising and crisis management for this project.

“It’s exciting, it’s been a long time coming. A lot of people have been dreaming about this for a long time,” Ellerson said.

Currently construction on the west side of the stadium is taking place at the 25-foot deck where the highest bleacher seats will be. They are also working on the elevator towers.

“It gets more and more impressive as time goes on,” Judd said.

Above the bleacher seats will be eight skybox-suites, a pressroom and radio and television booths. An additional 1,500 seats will bring the total available seating to 10,000.

The stadium will be steel-framed concrete with Spanish-tile roofing and a stucco finish.

A memorial plaza will also be added where Parking Lot C-1 is now located, just south of the stadium. The plaza will be dedicated to the 16 football players, a graduate student assistant and a Mustang booster who died in a plane crash in 1960.

Judd said the cost has stayed within the $21.5 million budget. Alex G. Spanos, Richard O’Neill and others provided much of the support for the stadium through donations. Cal Poly President Warren J. Baker expressed gratitude towards Spanos in an interview with the athletics department last fall.

“We are very grateful to Alex G. Spanos for making it possible, through his generosity, for us to undertake long-needed improvements in this critically important venue for athletic, community and other university events,” Judd said.

“It’s going to be a gorgeous facility. When it’s all done it’s really going to be a tremendous addition to the university. It will be something the community will take notice of when they come to games.”

Construction started in September 2005 and by July the contractors should be moving their equipment off the field. After new sod is laid, the field will need six to eight weeks to take root. Meanwhile, the contractors will be cleaning up and making some last touches.

“It’s been a pretty typical job,” Judd said, but added, “It took a while to get the driveway set up with Union Pacific Railway.”

Students and residents now have a clear pathway from the Mustang Village apartments across the railroad tracks to campus.

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