Saluki Way groundbreaking set

By Gus Bode

Groundbreaking for Saluki Way is set to begin March 3, Chancellor Sam Goldman announced Wednesday at the SIU Board of Trustees executive committee meeting.

About 3.5 years after Saluki Way was proposed in September of 2005 by former Chancellor Walter Wendler, construction companies will enter the future site of the new football stadium for the first time to make significant progress.

Athletic Director Mario Moccia said setting a date for the groundbreaking is a big step for Saluki Way and should help speed private donations.

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‘It’s nice to get the word out because a lot of people have donated,’ Moccia said. ‘It’s going to be another landmark in the process of actually finishing the project.’

Saluki Way is the university’s massive campus overhaul project, the first phase of which includes renovations to the SIU Arena and a new football stadium.

The first phase is budgeted at $83 million, with $41.5 million coming from student fees and $20 million coming from the city of Carbondale.

Goldman said $6.2 million have been raised through private donations, leaving $15.3 million remaining to be raised.

Moccia said he thinks private donations will now come faster now that the groundbreaking has been set.

‘People seem to respond when there’s a landmark or when there’s a moment that’s notable,’ Moccia said. ‘I think it will definitely help and allow us to get a lot of people down to the site and actually see what’s taking place.’

Duane Stucky, senior vice president for Financial and Administrative Affairs, said $28 million in construction contracts would be announced in today’s Board of Trustees meeting.

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Director of Plant and Service Operations Phil Gatton said 23 bids are included in the deal, and between 40 and 50 more should be announced at a later date.

BOT President Roger Tedrick said the rough economic conditions have actually helped lower the asking price for bids.

‘The economy problem has saved us a lot of money on this project,’ Tedrick said.

Stile Smith can be reached at 536-3311 ext. 268

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