ABC5 Sports Desk
AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University officially dedicated its $20.6 million addition to the Bergstrom Football Complex Friday. The lead donors for the project, Steve and Debbie Bergstrom of The Woodlands, Texas, were present. Their support for Iowa State was affirmed by Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard in a ceremony in the Steve and Patty McDonnell Auditorium in the 60,000 square-foot addition.
Pollard thanked all the donors who made the football-only facility a reality.
"This is a celebration of our vision," Pollard said. "It was that vision for success that led us to bring Paul Rhoads back to Iowa State. Certainly, the success we have experienced on the field in concert with record-breaking fan support for Cyclone football has positioned us for a bright future. We are grateful to Steve and Debbie Bergstrom for their generous lead gift, which created a foundation for us to move forward with the project."
The Bergstroms spoke briefly about their contribution to making the state-of-the-art facility possible.
"Debbie and I know how important facilities are to recruiting and when Jamie Pollard came to me about the football training center, we obviously saw a need for it," Steve Bergstrom said. "We have to help Coach Rhoads continue to grow the football program because it's the engine that drives the bus for the athletics department.''
Iowa State President Dr. Steven Leath stressed the importance of top-notch facilities and expressed his support of the project and of dedicating the building on Homecoming "Cytennial" weekend.
"The now-completed Bergstrom Football Complex stands as a proud symbol of the commitment to excellence in intercollegiate athletics at Iowa State University," President Leath said. "More importantly, it makes a huge statement about how much this university and our national family of Cyclone fans appreciate all that Iowa State student-athletes, coaches and everyone in the Athletics Department has accomplished for this university."
Coach Paul Rhoads underscored the impact of a facility of the project's scope. The previously existing indoor practice facility is now part of a larger structure 152,000 square-football building. The new building includes an impressive and spacious strength and conditioning facility, office complex with coach and positional meeting rooms, an auditorium and spacious locker rooms. Its athletics training area boasts leading edge sports medicine capabilities and the building is fully equipped with the latest video technologies. Rhoads said the new facility speaks for Iowa State's commitment to Cyclone football.
"Our program is built around blue collar guys with a strong work ethic," Rhoads said. "This building is going to allow us to progress and build on who we are as a football program. The state-of-the-art, cavernous weight room will feed the strength, speed and physical development of our players necessary to compete in the Big 12 Conference."
Rhoads can give you a play-by-play description of how the Bergstrom facility vitally meshes with the future success of Iowa State football.
"Complete HD digital video capabilities allow our coaches everything they need to train and develop the minds of our players," Rhoads said. "The locker room was built with the players in mind. To be successful in college football you have to keep your players healthy. The new training room will be as efficient as any in the nation. It includes the latest advances in hydrotherapy, preventative sports medicine and day-to-day conditioning all under the same roof. The meeting rooms possess all the latest digital technology."
Substance Architecture was the firm that designed the new facility. The Weitz Company was the general contractor. Both are based in Des Moines.
Iowa State football student-athlete Jake Knott confirmed the importance of a football facility that is competitive with the Cyclones' peer institutions.
"The bottom line is that you train to play college football 365 days a year," Knott said. "Now, that will all be done in one place. The future Cyclones that use this facility will understand the commitment to excellence that it represents and reap the benefits of all it has to offer."
Pollard and Rhoads presented a gift to the Bergstroms in recognition of their support of Iowa State football.