New things to come for Paulson Stadium

Will Cheney

The demolition of the scoreboard at Allen E. Paulson Stadium began Monday, signifying a milestone in Georgia Southern University’s leap to the Sun Belt Conference

In the Fall of 2012, GSU students voted to pass a $25 per-semester fee to fund the addition of 6,200 seats, which includes two lower-level seating areas of about 1,100 seats each and a mid-level terrace with an additional 4,000 seats. The fee is to be terminated once the cost of the seat expansion is retired. The additional seating will now seat 50 percent of GSU’s student population – as opposed to the 20 percent it originally held.

“The Stadium expansion and the Football Operations Center projects represent the initial steps in our journey into the Football Bowl Subdivision,” Georgia Southern Director of Athletics Tom Kleinlein said in a news release. “As Georgia Southern continues to grow, it is important that our athletics facilities reflect the same commitment the University has demonstrated with its first-class academic facilities with the new biology building, library expansion and renovations of the College of Public Health and Foy music building, to name just a few.”

The 50,000-sq. ft. Football Operations Center is to be located between the east end zone and Lanier Drive. It will provide a central area for the GSU football operations to be held such as locker rooms, meeting spaces, coaches’ offices, strength and conditioning, and athletic training equipment. The center will also house a hall of fame exhibit to honor the history of the GSU football program.

“We want to ensure that when we become a member of the Sun Belt Conference, our facilities are attractive to prospects, provide a great experience for our fans and student-athletes, and portray the image of the prominent university Georgia Southern has become,” Kleinlein said in a news release. “This stadium expansion is in line with that philosophy and will include new amenities for all fans to enjoy while maintaining some of the traditions fans expect when they visit Paulson.”

Both projects are set for a June 6 start date with expected completion in May of 2014.