Colorado athletic director Rick George said construction at Folsom Field will have a minimal impact on football game days this fall.
George said fans will experience some changes along with athletic department employees and student-athletes who regularly visit the Dal Ward Center and the stadium, but the sequencing of construction should help minimize hassles.
CU broke ground on the $143 million project on Monday, though construction really won't begin in earnest until later this month after the Bolder Boulder is completed on Memorial Day. The race ends in the stadium and runners enter through the northeast corner where the first phase of work will be focused this summer.
"We wanted to make this as least disruptive as we could," George said. "It may get noisy at times, but that's part of it. If you want this build, you have to go through some disruptions."
So what can CU fans, athletic department employees, student-athletes and visitors expect this summer and fall?
The priorities this summer are removing and relocating the recycling center that is located just outside the northeast gates of Folsom, removing the northern-most section of seats on the east side of the lower bowl and seating in the north end zone and then replacing those seating areas in time for the season.
The new seating in the northeast corner will curve in toward the Dal Ward Center, leaving a tunnel for access to that area from outside. George said fans who sit in the north end zone and the northeast seating areas might have to enter the stadium from different gates this season because of the construction.
"We're working on the logistics of that," he said.
George said the road that runs in front of the Dal Ward Center might need to be reconfigured but should remain open and accessible most of the time during construction.
George said fans who have used Franklin Field on the east side of the stadium to park and tailgate for football games should be able to continue to do so this fall because the bulk of construction on the indoor practice facility that will eventually be located there won't happen until next winter, spring and summer.
"We don't want seven games a year to disrupt this plan either," George said. "There will be some disruption for some of our fans, but we think it will be minimal."
The football team will have to negotiate the construction on a daily basis when practices begin in August in order to get from the Dal Ward Center locker room to the practice fields down the hill on the north side of Boulder Creek.
George said the new building in the northeast corner of the stadium will be mostly completed and ready for move in by April or May 2015. That will allow football coaches and staffers along with administrators and academic advisors to move out of the Dal Ward Center at that time. Then renovations on the Dal Ward Center will kick into high gear.