By Daniel C. Houston
The Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center is missing from a model of the proposed football stadium, the third such rendering depicting the north end of campus without the home of the Baylor Alumni Association.
Lori Fogleman, director of media relations and university spokesperson, said that while Baylor gave its hired architectural firm, Kansas City-based Populous, a set of broad objectives on which to base its stadium design, no final decisions have yet been made.
“Our architects are working under a set of expectations,” Fogleman said, “and they’re putting forward their ideas for a stadium that would maximize branding opportunities, connect to the campus and be sufficient for Baylor’s growing athletics program.”
Images of the scale model surfaced on Facebook this week when the unofficial “Baylor Bears” page posted a photo album including pictures of the model and other stadium renderings.
Nicholas Joos, executive associate athletics director for external affairs, confirmed the athletics department uses the model to help recruit prospective student-athletes.
Jeff Kilgore, BAA executive vice president and chief executive officer, said the university has not engaged alumni association representatives in conversation about the future of the alumni center.
Fogleman said Populous has drafted several different designs for the stadium according to the broad guidelines provided, which include ensuring ease of travel to and from campus.
She said the university is not in a position to comment on “anything related to construction” because it has yet to approve any aspect of the plans.
“We are still in that architectural rendering stage,” Fogleman said. “All of those designs some of which I’ve seen, several of which I’ve never seen show all kinds of possibilities, but we are a long way from making any kind of decisions.”
The model depicts an open patch of grass and what appears to be a crossing set of walkways where the alumni center currently sits. Upon review of the model, Joos said he is unsure what the crossing pattern is supposed to represent, but said it could just be a “design element” at this point.
He stressed the project is still in a very early stage and the specifics, such as bridges and walkways leading to campus, are still subject to change. “It’s still very much a concept and we’re still figuring out how to put it together in a cost-effective manner,” Joos said.
Brian Nicholson, associate vice president for facility, planning and construction, was not available for comment by Thursday’s deadline.