BOONE — The anticipated demolition of Owens Field House has begun with the dismantling of the building’s interior, and the exterior is slated to come down the week of March 11, according to Appalachian State University spokesperson Megan Hayes.
The field house was built in 1972 and once housed the Appalachian State football team locker room and offices. It will be replaced by the Kidd Brewer Stadium north end zone project, a mixed-use athletic facility that will include approximately 1,000 premium seats, dining facilities, a team store, space for athletic training and nutrition science, conference and continuing education training space, an orthopedic clinic, hydrotherapy and offices for coaches and athletics staff.
“In addition to providing an enhanced experience for student-athletes and fans, this facility will be available for use by the entire campus community,” ASU states. “It will accommodate various athletics and academic uses, including athletic training and nutrition science.”
The latest project budget figure is $43 million, according to a website providing updates on the project. The university said the project will be funded through donations to Appalachian Athletics, club seat revenue, Food Services revenue and debt through Millennial Campus designation, which will be repaid using tenant lease revenue.
DPR Construction is the construction manager at risk for the end zone project, and D.H. Griffin Companies is the subcontractor for demolition, which had previously been scheduled to begin in January.
The plan is to open the facility for the fall 2020 football season. Demolition will be followed by site prep, a Feb. 28 statement from Athletics Director Doug Gillin said.
Asked about when the track will be removed from Kidd Brewer Stadium, Gillin said it will depend on the progress of planning and fundraising for the new track and other athletic facilities at the Appalachian 105 campus (the former Watauga High School).
“Before we go through with removing the track at Kidd Brewer Stadium, we have to make sure we’ve secured everything needed to replace it with a new one at the Appalachian 105 site,” Gillin said. “At The Rock, there are plans to increase the available practice space by adding turf where the track currently sits, but the track must be removed instead of just being covered by new turf.
“Ideally, our goal is to begin the 2020 football season with both the track removed and the new end zone project complete,” Gillin continued. “Removing the track and installing new turf in its place comes with a price tag of between $1.5 million and $2 million.”
Appalachian’s Physical Plant has salvaged $300,000 worth of materials from Owens Field House for re-use in other campus buildings, according to ASU. These items range from light fixtures and electronic door locks to a chiller with an estimated value near $200,000 to improve air conditioning issues and a hot water heater valued near $20,000 that converts campus steam to hot water for showers.