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A false start on Hayward renovation project.

Byline: Mark Johnson The Register-Guard

The University of Oregon has pushed back the renovation of Hayward Field for a year, citing the need to accommodate planning that has taken longer than expected.

The decision appears tied to a delay in the replacement of a nearby cellphone tower, which school officials said needed to be completed by Aug. 1 for the renovation of Hayward Field to begin. Construction of the new tower, which will be the tallest structure on campus by 51 feet, is expected to finally move forward later this month.

"With a project of this scale and turnaround time from start to finish, we wanted to make sure our plans were not only worthy of this global icon of track and field but also limited disruptions to scheduled events and the UO track and field team," Paul Weinhold, president and CEO of the University of Oregon Foundation, said in a news release. The UO Foundation is managing the renovation project.

Updates to the track stadium's East Grandstand originally scheduled for this fall will now begin in June 2017, according to the school. The new timeline has the potential to allow for additional events during the 2017 track season, according to UO associate athletic director Vin Lananna.

The renovation is expected to be completed in two phases, with construction of the East Grandstand and south bowl to begin following next year's NCAA Championships and finished in May 2018, in time for events such as the OSAA Track and Field Championships, Prefontaine Classic and NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. Demolition of the Bowerman Building, which is needed to make room for a new west grandstand, and construction of the west grandstand is expected to be from July 2018 to May 2019.

The university has not released a total cost of the project but estimates have placed the figure at about $68 million. The renovation and expansion, from 10,500 to approximately 12,500 permanent seats, is tied to the 2021 IAAF World Championships that will be held at stadium. Supplemented by temporary seating, the stadium will need to hold at least 30,000 for the World Championships.

Hayward Field was built in 1919. The East Grandstand, originally added in 1925, will be updated to improve "accessibility and amenities" and will connect with the west grandstand via a concourse. The new West Grandstand will include suites, office space and concessions, as well as improved media facilities.

An indoor practice facility also will be built in the west grandstand, along with locker rooms, treatment space and a weight room.

There will not be a full indoor track facility associated with the construction project, though there will be a 110-meter training track and an indoor pole vault training area.

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Title Annotation:Oregon Track-Field; Renovation on the facility will be pushed back a year because of the need to replace a nearby cell tower
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Sep 24, 2016
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