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Construction begins on new Ramer Field press box

April 29, 2015

Warmer weather has allowed work on the Falcon Center project to progress ahead of schedule, including a major addition to Ramer Field, as work on the new press box has begun more than a month before it was scheduled to begin.

“They were not even anticipating starting until the early part of May and they’ve been out there three weeks already, so they’ve gotten a nice jump start on that,” said Athletic Director Roger Ternes.

The new press box was sorely needed for the field.

“We were in a box that was outdated 20 years ago,” Ternes said. “We were just crowded and over crowded before. We were just on top of each other.”

Climate control and the fact that the new press box will be twice as big is something that frequent users of the facility will notice right away, along with various other new amenities. The top two that Ternes is excited is about is the fact that the press box will now be handicap accessible and there will be a bathroom located in the press box. Before, users of the press box would have to run down the bleachers to go and use the restroom.

The new facility will be three stories with an elevator available to get up to the third floor. The bottom level will be the new home of ticketing and concessions for games that are held at Ramer Field. The building to the south of the field that tickets and concessions are now sold will be turned into more storage for the athletics department.

New bathrooms will eventually be coming to the field, but not until the stands themselves are replaced. Ternes said that by code, when new bleachers are put in there is a certain amount of bathroom stalls that have to come with.

The replacement of bleachers isn’t in any current plans. Entertaining is also a possibility in the new press box. There will be a room designated for this purpose that can hold 15-20 people.

The upgrade will not just pay dividends for the football team, but for the track and field team as well. Before, not all events at track and field meets could be visible from the press box, but that is changing significantly in the project.

“We are resurfacing the track this summer,” Ternes said. “We’ll have new runways for the track events. If you are in the press box, you can watch everything track and field from one site or even if you are in the stands.”

Soccer is also getting some new digs. A new soccer field will be located immediately east, and a tad south of the current football field. The turf for the soccer field will be installed in May, but it is still to be seen if the soccer team will be able to play on it this fall. The athletics department does not want to ruin new grass before it takes root.

“Construction has started on the press box and is expected to be complete for the start of the fall football season,” said Tim Thum of UWRF building maintenance in an email interview.