Troutt-Wittman Center close to completion

By Gus Bode

Athletic staff and football team move to temporary locations

Four feet away from SIU Sports Information Director Tom Weber’s office in Lingle Hall is a hole in the wall leading to a construction zone.

In addition, with construction on the Trout Whitman Center underway since December, Weber has been temporarily separated from his staff.


“My assistants are scattered all over,” Weber said while holding back the hole’s plastic curtain. “Hopefully we’ll be together soon.”

Fager-McGee Commercial Construction is building the center. Darin Fager, Project Manager of the Troutt-Wittman Center, said the project is scheduled to be completed during the first week of September.

Fager said there were a few delays due to weather during the winter, but everything is running on schedule.

“We’re finishing putting in the glass and once the outside is closed in we can begin to finish the interior,” Fager said.

Most of the staff to be housed in Lingle Hall will be able to move into their renovated offices in a month. Volleyball coaching assistants will be moving into the old ticket office and the golf coaches will be working in a storage room above the arena.

Even though the sports information staff has had to make adjustments to the construction, Weber the biggest impact has been on the athletic teams that weight train in the facility.

During the construction the Saluki athletic teams moved from the Arena and began training in the darkness of the lower level of McAndrew Stadium where the temperatures are significantly higher.


“It’s a little bit uncomfortable, the equipment is a little dirtier because the humidity rusts the bars out,” Kliene said.

Kliene said the heat has not yet had a negative impact on training.

“We love it. The hotter the better,” said Bryce Saia, defense football coach.

Saia said dealing with the heat will be worth it when the team finally gets to use the new facility.

The new building will house a weight room and new strength-training equipment. Athletic trainer Eric Kliene said they are still deciding what equipment will be purchased.

The new center carries a price tag of $4.4 million. Funding came from SIU alumnus Thomas P. “Pete” Wittman, the first private donor to provide the entire amount for a building addition in school history. Wittman also donated $1 million toward an endowed scholarship fund.

Reporter Hilary Matheson can be reached at [email protected]