Clarion U’s Tippin Gym Project Moves Slowly Forward with Hopes of March 2017 Start Date
(Photo by Chris Rossetti)
“The renovation is scheduled to being in March 2017,” Clarion’s Interim Athletic Director Wendy Snodgrass said in an Oct. 24 e-mail to EYT Media. “I haven’t seen the finalized plans for what the building will look like. I believe that the estimated timeline for completion is Summer 2018.”
In a follow-up e-mail with EYT Media Nov. 15, Snodgrass said bids for the project – at least the third time bids have been put out on the gym renovations – aren’t back yet.
“My understanding is that bids are not due back until around the end of December,” Snodgrass said.
Renovations have been planned since at least March of 2012 on the 48-yearpld facility that houses many of Clarion University sports programs as well as coaches’ and administrative offices in addition to some academic offices.
According to a Frequently Asked Questions section on Tippin Renovation posted on ClarionGoldenEagles.com in June 2014 (it is not readily accessible on the redesigned website that was launched this fall but can be accessed through the included link or by a quick Google search), the renovation and expansion budget for Tippin totaled nearly $45 million in 2014. The project itself was part of an original request that Clarion University made to the State Capital projects budget for possible renovation more than 17 years ago, and the project was approved by the state legislature in 2008 as part of the capital budget bill that year. The formal request for the release of those funds was made in Aug. 2011 according to the FAQ.
At the time of the 2014 FAQ’s being posted, it was thought the project would be completed by Fall 2018.
The current timeline could have implications on the District 9 and PIAA basketball playoffs that are normally held at Tippin Gym in late February and early March every year.
According to District 9 chairman Jim Manners, District 9 has been told to prepare for games starting the second week of the District 9 playoffs to be played elsewhere.
Editor’s Note – The FAQ mentioned in this story was put together by the story’s author, Chris Rossetti, when he was employed as the Assistant Sports Information Director at Clarion University.
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