Confetti rained down as officials turned the first ceremonial spades of soil for Pittsburg State’s newest addition. A large crowd from the campus and the community gathered for the indoor event center groundbreaking, which was held in John Lance Arena on Feb. 25.

Plaster center

Dr. Steve Scott

Plaster center

Dr. Dolly Clement, executive director of the Robert W. Plaster Foundation, said her father would be proud of the facility that will bear his name. President Scott praised partnerships that made it all possible.

“Today’s groundbreaking is about more than the construction of a facility,” said PSU President Steve Scott, “It’s a celebration of the incredible partnerships that this university shares with its community, its students, its alumni and its donors. The strength of this university lies in these relationships and you see the results every time you walk onto this campus.”

The event center is the biggest piece of an overall project that includes the recent renovation of John Lance Arena, an effort led by Alan and Roberta Whetzel.

President Scott and other speakers at the event praised students, the community and private donors who are making big projects campus possible. Those projects, Scott noted, include the Center for the Arts, just south of the Weede Athletics Complex, and an expansion and renovation of the Overman Student Center, which will begin later this spring.

President Scott used the groundbreaking to announce the name of the new facility.

“It is with great pleasure that I formally announce that from this day forward, the facility behind me will be known as the Robert W. Plaster Center,” Scott said. “This gift (from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation) has helped us reach our goal and the end result will be a facility that will serve our campus and our community for generations to come.”

The center will encompass 154,000 square feet and will include a 100-yard practice field, a 300-meter track, an 11,000-square-foot strength and conditioning facility, locker rooms for men’s and women’s track and football and seating for 1,500. Completion is expected in the spring of 2015.

Watch entire groundbreaking program

Artist renderings