Volume 93, Issue 16

Friday, September 24, 1999


Western to be no-show at rally

Western researchers going virtual

Stadium receives backing

Student federation's national campaign targets accessibility

Cannabis user to appear in court


Quirks and Smirks

Caught on campus

Buzz Mecca

Stadium receives backing

By John Intini
Gazette Staff

Western's Board of Governors responded unanimously yesterday, awarding the construction contract of Western's new stadium to a local London firm, as well as approving the upgrades on earlier building plans.

Western President Paul Davenport announced in a press conference the issuing of the stadium's building contract to Norlon Builders London Ltd., adding how the complex will be the best facility the university can afford.

"With something like this you always have puts and takes. What will this cost? What will that cost?" he said. "This is not a Jaguar facility or a super-Cadillac facility. It's a very, very good stadium."

The 8,000 seat stadium, which will cost $10.65 million, is being built primarily for the upcoming 2001 Summer Games. Two-and-a-half million is being donated by the 2001 London Alliance Canada Summer Games Host Society, while the remainder is planned to be raised through fundraising, added Libby Fowler, co-chair of the society.

"The stadium will be a place for memories to be created for thousands of athletes who come to London in August of 2001 and it will be a place of memories for those who come after," she said.

According to Fowler, the stadium is in full accordance to the requirements for the Canada games. It even exceeds expectations in some areas.

Davenport said the board also approved a number of upgrades from the initial design which was unveiled in June of 1999. The complex, to be built on the Huron Flats, will have artificial turf, an Olympic quality eight lane track, improved media facilities, 106 washrooms and top of the line television lighting.

"People have said to us if you're going to build it, build it right," he said. "We've listened and we're building it right." Davenport added Norlon was awarded the contract over five other bids because it offered to build the stadium for the cheapest price.

According to Wolfgang Ginzel, VP-administration with Norlon, the construction company will break ground Tuesday and said based on some initial planning, they have more then enough time to get the stadium ready for the August 2000 deadline.

"We've built a number of arenas, baseball diamonds, tennis courts, volleyball courts," Ginzel said. "It's not really that complicated," he added.

London Mayor Dianne Haskett, a Board member, said she was proud to be part of the announcement, describing the contribution as further proof of the vital role the university plays in the city of London.

"This new state of the art sporting venue will not only shine during the Canada Games – its lustre will remain, making it a valuable community resource for years to come," she said.

According to Ted Garrard, Western's VP-external and co-chair of the fundraising committee responsible for the Games, $15 million is needed – $10 million for the stadium and $5 million for the Games itself. Garrard said $6.5 million has already been raised.

The stadium presently remains unnamed while the university waits for a large corporate sponsor. When asked a media question regarding the stadium's name, Davenport responded candidly, "If you would like to step up, for a mere $2.5 million, we'll put your name on it."

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Copyright The Gazette 1999