LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – The last time Commonwealth Stadium underwent renovation was back in 1999. This year’s work on the 42-year-old facility is underway and is in full swing.
“When we did the renovation in ’99, it was obviously something we needed to do,” said Russ Pear, UK’s Associated Athletics Director for Capital Projects. “We didn’t have suites. That kind of bowled in the stadium.”
Construction on the home of the football Wildcats is on schedule, despite a hard winter. For the first time, fans driving by the stadium can see an actual change to the facade.
“We’re getting out of the ground now,” Pear said. “All the other work has been either relocating utilities for the project.”
Pear said a crane has been flying in steel for the past five days, which will form the entrance to new premium seating, and the tower that will house elevators to the suites and new press box.
The project should be complete before the start of the 2015 season, but fans will notice construction continuing even through the upcoming football season.
“We’ve still got the newest stadium in the conference,” Pear said. “All the other stadiums are much old and have been added onto over the years.”
In addition, new practice fields and offices will be built nearby. The project will bring all football operations to Commonwealth Stadium.
“Everything will all be right here,” Pear said. “It’ll be more of a one-stop shopping for our student athletes. It’ll be a real upgrade for our program.”
“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s something that our fans will be excited about. Our players, of course, are going to be excited about it. Our staff will too. It’s just one of those projects that we think we’ve got something for everybody.”