Ground has already been broken for the 40' X 72' building, which will be brick construction on a concrete slab. Palmer said the building will include offices for rodeo team coaches, men's and women's restrooms, a commons area for students to gather and view video of their performances, a student practice area to house a mechanical bull and calf-roping machine, and storage and mechanical spaces.
He said he believes the rodeo team's success warrants the best facilities possible.
"The rodeo program has proven to be one of the most successful in the nation year after year," Palmer said. "This facility will give our nationally renowned athletes a place to call home."
FSCC arguably has one of the best rodeo programs in the nation. The team has finished five times in the "Top 10" in National Team Standings and have never finished lower than third in the Central Plains Region. Palmer said about 50 athletes are involved in the rodeo program at FSCC.
Palmer said while the Rodeo Team experiences considerable success in the arena and in the classroom, the facilities could be improved. The current facilities make organized practice and study sessions difficult. He said the rodeo coaches and athletes currently use two small offices adjacent to the basketball court.
"There was a great need for new facilities for rodeo," Palmer said.
A new facility, although modest and relatively small, would give the rodeo team a sense of place, Palmer said. He also said a dedicated building will allow rodeo students appropriate room to gather and learn from each other as they review competition video footage. Certain practice activities also could be moved inside, out of the cold or heat. In addition, having a "home of their own" would likely entice additional top-quality recruits to an already successful program.
Palmer also said the facility will benefit the Construction Trades program, by providing valuable building experience.
"This project also allows some of our construction trades classes, like masonry students the chance to use skills they have learned in their classes to make the building look like the rest of campus by laying a brick facade," Palmer said.
The new facility will be just south of Arnold Arena and east of the UMB Bank Outdoor Lifestock Pen and will cost an estimated $120,000.
Palmer said about $80,000 of that has already been raised through private donations.
"All of the funds used to build the facility will be from private donations," Palmer said. "No money from the general fund will be used and no tax dollars will be involved."
Gary Palmer can be reached at 1-800-874-3722, ext. 5830 for those interested in making a donation for the new facility.