It’s been a busy summer at Missouri Western State University with many changes coming to the campus that many people will be able to enjoy. Among other things, there’s a Starbucks in Blum, the cafeteria has been renovated, but what I want to talk about is the new Bill Snyder Pavilion, and the changes that are currently being made to the basketball/volleyball court.
The big Missouri Western news story over the summer was the construction of the pavilion; a new place for people to watch the football and soccer games while at Western. It was topped off by a speech from Bill Snyder himself.
“I truly am humbled,” Snyder said. “I know that’s what you’re supposed to say, but I truly am.”
Snyder’s name was brought up by Steve Craig, the man who donated the pavilion.
“I don’t know where to begin with Steve, and my appreciation for the very kind words, and an even greater appreciation for what you have done for this university,” Snyder said.
Snyder, now coaching football at Kansas State, was born and raised in St. Joseph and attended Missouri Western briefly while it was St. Joseph Junior College.
The centerpiece, the focal point of the pavilion, is the 80-foot tall flagpole with an American flag that is 20-by-30 foot.
Athletic Director Josh Looney talked about why this was the centerpiece of the pavilion.
“That flag is dedicated to the current and past Griffons in the United States Military,” Looney said. “Their dedication to this country and to be great men and women makes them more than deserving of this tribute.”
The flag was raised at the dedication ceremony by members of the Pony Express Battalion of the U.S. Army ROTC, headquartered at Missouri Western, and the 139th Airlift Wing of the Missouri Air National Guard, headquartered at Rosecrans Memorial Airport in St. Joseph.
One thing Looney is happy about is the funding of both of these projects.
“Both of these projects were paid for by fully private fundraised dollars,” Looney said. “It’s always a good sign to see people step up and invest in furthering the university.”
Along with the pavilion, there are current renovations going on inside the Looney Complex, in which Looney himself talked about.
“When people come back, they’ll see all new seating, all new chair backs, new bleachers, and then we took everything off the walls, and what used to be cluttered white walls, are now all crisp and clean and fully black and gold,” Looney said. “It’s powerful; it’s simple, but it’s a bold brand look.”
Renovations are due to be complete by mid-September, although the court is still usable until then.