Archive for Monday, January 26, 2009

Boathouse anchors rowing teams

Storage, meeting, medical facilities finally available in new home along Kaw

KU rowing teams practice from August to May. The new boathouse offers practice space that can be used when the Kansas River is frozen over.

KU rowing teams practice from August to May. The new boathouse offers practice space that can be used when the Kansas River is frozen over.

January 26, 2009

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Kansas University’s new boathouse in Burcham Park will open on Feb. 6. It offers plenty of room for storage, training, studying and more.

Kansas University’s new boathouse in Burcham Park will open on Feb. 6. It offers plenty of room for storage, training, studying and more.

Open house

As part of the University’s “40 Years of Women’s Sports at KU Celebration,” Lawrence community members as well as past and present KU female athletes are invited to an open house at the boathouse from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 28.

Kansas University senior Emily Martin is used to leaving practice filthy.

Martin and other Kansas University rowing team members are used to carrying 200-pound boats through ankle-deep mud. They’re used to fixing dents in their boats after a night of hail.

But this will soon become a distant memory once a new boathouse opens Feb. 6 in Burcham Park.

“What we had wasn’t a facility,” said Martin, of Wellington and a member of the women’s varsity rowing team. “This will really make everything a lot easier, a lot nicer and a lot cleaner.”

The rowing teams practice from August to May. Until the Kansas River thaws, the rowers will practice in the new facility’s indoor training area.

The new building features four boat bays, locker rooms, showers, a kitchen and laundry facilities. The boathouse also has a study area and a separate room for the medical training staff.

With the opening of the new building, team members no longer will have to store their boats within a chain-link fence. The only other amenities in Burcham Park for the teams were two portable toilets. The medical training staff has been working out of a van.

In addition to providing protection for the teams’ equipment, head rowing coach Rob Catloth said the facility will boost team morale.

Team adviser Steven Maynard-Moody agreed. “Boathouses are not only a place where boats are stored, but sort of the heart of the program,” he said. “Boathouses become places for people to gather together and feel like they’re at home.”

In 2006, KU students approved a $15 tuition fee to help fund the boathouse. Construction on the $6 million facility began last March.

“We’re real excited and thankful for this facility,” Catloth said. “A state university is really about students helping students, and that’s what happened.”

KU currently has more than 140 rowers on three teams — two club teams and a women’s varsity team.

Comments

KU_cynic 6 years, 7 months ago

I am happy that the rowers have a nice facility. They deserve it.KU students who do not row and likely have never been spectators for rowing events did not deserve to have a $15 fee to pay for this new facility crammed down on them in a sham low-turnout referendum a few years ago, however.KUAC couldn't have paid for it with donor funds and other KUAC income? Yeah, right. Ask the newly hired "chief of staff" about that. Or walk around the new football facilities or the soon-to-be-constructed basketball practice facilities. "Yep, no money around here. Let's go shake down the students."

9070811 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm wondering why the boathouse isnt further back in the woods. Sure it should be close to the water. But I'm thinking flooding etc. Could it have been built at a slant? And a flat drive to the actual housing of the boats (beneath the lockers, medic).

deskboy04 6 years, 7 months ago

It is a crime that they take the money from students to finance this.

alimpic 6 years, 7 months ago

That is a very handsome facility. Bravo!

Rebecca Valburg 6 years, 7 months ago

Ummmm . . . according to the article, the $15 increase was voted into effect, so I'm not sure how that constitutes the fee being "crammed down on them" or a "crime they take the money away." I'm guessing between the varsity and club teams, most students on campus knew someone that rowed, and weren't opposed to throwing down on it. Besides, MOST of the sports at KU are funded by the students, and by the basketball and football teams, so it's not like this is the first time the students have paid for something for the athletic teams. I don't think the ticket sales for the swim meets and golf tournaments are paying for all of their equipment and trips and facilities, either. As for life jackets, the oars float, so they count as PFDs. And even if you "sink" a boat, the boat itself won't go to the bottom, it's just gonna hover real low in the water, and you'll be wet from the waist down (but you're sitting down, remember). Wearing a life jacket to row is about as workable and useful as wearing a football helmet to play basketball. Both might someday be handy, but they're a whole lot more likely to cause other injuries than actually help you. As for flooding, that river is pretty well-controlled (Mass Street hasn't been underwater in quite some time) with the dam. And most boathouses I've seen, the boats are on the bottom level (who wants to carry them up stairs, anyway?), and the other rooms are above. So, yes, if Mass Street is under water, the upper level WILL probably be wet, but that probably won't be the biggest of our worries.Congratulations, rowers. :) It's been a long time coming.

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