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Archive for Monday, May 7, 2007

KU hopes to build boathouse on Kaw

May 7, 2007

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Kansas University rowing team members hope they soon will have a place to call home.

Head rowing coach Rob Catloth said he expects construction to begin this fall on a boathouse that will provide a permanent meeting, workout and storage space for the team.

"It will add some stability and legitimacy to our program," Catloth said. "The basketball team has Allen Fieldhouse, the football team has Memorial Stadium, the baseball team has their baseball fields, and now we will have the boathouse."

The building the program has in mind will include space for boat and equipment storage, a team meeting room, locker rooms and a medical training room.

Catloth said the boathouse is slated to be built at the north end of Burcham Park, Second and Indiana streets, where the team's rowing dock is now.

But Mark Hecker, superintendent of parks and maintenance for the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department, said an exact location is yet to be determined. According to Hecker, the city has an interest in accommodating the request, but plans are still in the preliminary discussion stage.

"The big unknown is where it would be," Hecker said. "Whether it would be free or we would charge them for the land is a question. Ultimately the City Commission would decide that."

Hecker also said the proposed location is in a floodplain, which may pose a problem.

Catloth said the proposed facility design includes necessary precautions to combat the area's risk for flood and high water. Medical and meeting facilities and locker rooms would be built above the floodplain to prevent damage. Boat bays would occupy the lower level, and floodwaters would be able to flow in and out.

"Flood plans will be taken into account with every part of the building," Catloth said. "There's a chance anytime the river can flood. It's part of the history of Lawrence."

If the boathouse becomes a reality, Catloth expects it to be a powerful recruiting tool for his program.

"All the important aspects of team life will happen at the boathouse," he said.

A KU student fee passed in Spring 2006 to fund women's and nonrevenue sports will finance the project, estimated to cost between $3 million and $4 million.

Comments

clyde_never_barks 7 years, 7 months ago

With all that money the university got for building repairs, maybe they could siphon some off and build a boat house.

imastinker 7 years, 7 months ago

I love how those student fes keep getting passed. Those student senators should be shot for even proposing the kind of fees that are there.

Eric Beightel 7 years, 7 months ago

Congratulations Rob. It's about time this thing got built. I hope it leads to continued success for the KU Rowers.

clyde_never_barks 7 years, 7 months ago

nut - if you have followed previous posts on deferred maintenance issues, you would realize that I was being completely sarcastic.

RKLOG 7 years, 7 months ago

Rowing is a fine sport, but 3-4 million dollars from student fees for this project? Can't it wait until a few other things on our campus get fixed first? It's not like the river's going anywhere.

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