Western makes familiar firm choice for Chiefs training camp facilities

By Ryan Richardson

February 5, 2009

It looks like Missouri Western’s choice architect firm has landed another major project on campus. Local firm Ellison-Auxier architects, INC., designers of Missouri Western’s Spratt Hall and clock tower, landed the coveted contract to design and provide construction oversight for the yet to be named practice facility and improvements to Spratt stadium. These additions are in anticipation of the Kansas City Chiefs setting up their training camp during the summer of 2010. The process of recommending the firm to the Board of Governors was placed in the hands of a research committee that had to wade through ten different firms to make their decision based on criteria set forth by the state statute relating to the move. The firms were narrowed down to four finalists who were interviewed recently on campus. David Williams, Missouri Western athletic director, was part of the review committee that helped make the recommendation to the Board of Governors. “We received qualification from a number of great firms,” Williams said. “Ellison-Auxier emerged as the best choice.” The proposal included the new indoor field, renovations to Spratt stadium including the new endzone complex, improved parking lots and a brand new softball field. Ellison-Auxier has currently entered the design and planning phase for these new facilities. The plans are expected to be made public within the month and physical construction of the new facility is expected to start this June. The committee made their recommendations to the board of governors who approved it via phone poll on Jan. 30. The selection will be formally ratified at the monthly meeting of the board on Feb. 26. Ellison-Auxier is currently proceeding with design plans to expedite the process, due to the limited window to get the new facilities running by the proposed move. This effort is the most ambitious effort in recent memory in relation to campus improvements and is expected to generate high amounts of revenue and also to help the campus recruit students. “Anytime you put in new halls, new science buildings or a project like this it will help recruit people,” Williams said. “We’re excited about the amount of the new students and the new student athletes.” With the architect firm in place, the real leg-work will begin on getting the facility off the ground. Missouri Western is currently working with the city of St. Joseph, Buchanan County and securing private donors to secure funding for this project in addition to the tax credits already secured from the state government. The Chiefs organization has also committed an additional $10 million for the new improvements to the campus.