Jun 23, 2022

Bickles Pledge Additional Million-Dollar Gift to New Athletic Complex Project

Posted Jun 23, 2022 3:19 PM
Fort Hays State Athletics
Fort Hays State Athletics

HAYS, Kan. - With fundraising ongoing for the new Athletic Complex at Lewis Field Stadium, Don and Chris Bickle have stepped forward with an additional matching gift of $1 million as a challenge to others interested in supporting the project.

The 20,000-square foot facility is in the design stage with HTK Architects and is expected to be located just beyond the south end zone of Lewis Field as a stand-alone structure. Other renderings have shown the facility as an attachment to the Schmidt-Bickle Indoor Training Facility.

The majority of the new facility addresses growing needs for the Tiger Football program. Plans are in place for a facility to house a larger locker room for up to 130 players, new coach offices and team meeting rooms, and an expanded sports medicine facility to be utilized by all FHSU athletic programs. The proposed facility is two levels, with the new locker room and sports medicine facilities on the ground level, and the coach offices and meeting rooms on the second level above ground.

Fundraising goals were originally targeted at $6.5 million, but cost increases are anticipated related to construction inflation. As new renderings and concepts are developed, new projections will be addressed in the fundraising plan.

This latest gift from the Bickles brings the total of confirmed gifts toward the project to just over $5 million. Their initial major donation toward the project was announced back in April.

"Don and Chris continue to be incredible supporters of our community, Fort Hays State University and Tiger Athletics," FHSU Director of Athletics, Curtis Hammeke said. "It is hard to express how grateful we are for their generosity and understanding of the need for quality facilities. As we broaden our fundraising efforts moving forward, we, along with the Bickles, are hopeful this latest matching gift will help to inspire others to help make this facility a reality."

For those interested in helping to make this project a reality, contact Jared Schiel with the FHSU Foundation at 785-628-5755 or [email protected]