Stadium renovations a work in progress

Athletic Director Chris Del Conte came to the university with the stated goal of raising funds for the renovation of Amon Carter Stadium. Now nearly four months later, he said there is progress being made, but the start date for construction remains uncertain.

“It’s very early,” Del Conte said. “We’re still in that whole stage of ‘Where are we?’ and ‘What are we looking for?'”

Early concepts produced by HKS, Inc., the architectural design firm the university has hired to oversee the project, were taken from the company’s Web site and placed on sports blogs and Facebook pages last week. The pictures led some to suggest the university is further along in the process than it has publicly stated, but Del Conte denied those rumors.

“Everything is beyond premature,” Del Conte said.

Calls to HKS on Thursday to inquire about the concepts were not returned.

During the next four to five months, there will be a greater focus on fundraising and solidifying plans for the renovation, Del Conte said. Currently, there is no cost estimate for the project, Del Conte said.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. “We have to look from design to fundraising, and all those things coincide with each other.”

Del Conte said the stadium renovation is not a response to a potential conference realignment that with the Big 10 or Pacific 10 Conferences, but a natural and past-due improvement.

“The concession stands, the amenities, the restrooms, everything needs to be addressed,” Del Conte said. “This has nothing to do with conference affiliation. This has everything to do with TCU taking care of TCU.”

If the university is going to continue to compete for national championships in football, the renovation is necessary, Del Conte said.

“If you’re going to have the finest chemists in the country, you can’t use 1950s Bunsen burners,” he said.