July 6, 2012
Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex unveiled
|Lindberg Stadium will open in time for the 2013 football season.|
The Augustana football facility is undergoing an extreme makeover and will sport a new look upon scheduled completion in August of 2013. Thanks to a multi-year gift from the Knowlton Foundation, the facility, which will be home to the school's football and track & field programs, will be known as the Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex.
New facilities included in the Knowlton Complex will be the Charles D. Lindberg Stadium, the Ken Anderson Academic All-America Club and the Players' Plaza and Viking Patio and Overlook. The playing surface is being redone this summer and the Paul V. Olsen Track was installed in 2008.
The Austin E. Knowlton Outdoor Athletic Complex is named in honor of the late Ohio businessman and philanthropist Austin E. Knowlton, who founded the Knowlton Foundation and funded it throughout his lifetime and through a provision in his will. This is not the first time that Augustana has benefitted from the generosity of the Mr. Knowlton. Previous gifts from him include Knowlton's Ohio and Colorado homes, which were sold to fund the Austin E. Knowlton Memorial Scholarship and the Austin E. Knowlton Honors Program, both established in 2004. Those previous gifts came from Mr. Knowlton personally while this one will come from the Knowlton Foundation.
"We are extremely grateful for the Knowlton Foundation for the gift that made this possible," said W. Kent Barnds, vice-president of enrollment, communication and planning, who is serving as the acting president of Augustana during Steve Bahls' sabbatical. ""The Board of Trustees and our college leadership are happy to honor the extensive lifetime contributions of Austin Knowlton, Charlie Lindberg and Ken Anderson to Augustana by naming significant places and buildings in their honor."
The centerpiece for the project will be Lindberg Stadium, which will be located on the north side of the Knowlton Complex (where the visitor's stands are currently). Lindberg Stadium will have a three-story grandstand that will include team facilities with a spacious locker room, 110 lockers, training and taping facilities and team meeting rooms on the ground level. There will be seating for 1,800 and will include chair-back seats along the 50-yard line and a designated student section. The second level, which overlooks the football playing field, includes offices for the football coaching staff, a conference room and display and reception areas. The third level will have a working press box and suites for entertainment and recruiting.
A unique feature of the Knowlton Complex will be the Anderson Academic All-America Club. This will be a lively indoor gathering location with televisions, room to socialize during Viking contests, innovative concessions, and picture-window views of the game-day action. This building will feature Viking football memorabilia and a display featuring Academic All-Americans, of which Augustana has had 139 throughout the years and ranks sixth in the nation in number produced, regardless of division. The Anderson Club will be open throughout the year for social gatherings and meetings of up to 80 people.
The Players' Plaza will provide a new entrance to the Knowlton Complex and will serve as a gathering place for fans before and after games. The plaza will be located at the Northwest corner of the complex adjacent to the Carver Center and parking lot designed for tailgating during the football season.
A fourth component of the project will be the Viking Patio and Overlook. This area will serve as a place where fans can gather to watch the game from the northwest corner of the field between the Anderson Club and Lindberg Stadium. It will include a concession area and a tremendous view of Augustana's landmark building, Old Main.
Lindberg Stadium and the Anderson Academic All-America Club link a pair of prominent Augustana alums who enjoyed national-level success as undergraduates that served as springboards to professional acclaim in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Charles D. Lindberg is a 1950 graduate of Augustana and a 1953 graduate of Yale Law School. While at Augustana he was a highly successful debater and Lindberg and teammate D.A. Koch '53 Bjornson advanced to the championship round of the National Debate Tournament only to fall to the University of Vermont to finish second in the nation.
He served on the Augustana Board of Directors for a total of 25 years and was the chairman from 1983 to 1986, when the Vikings won four straight NCAA Division III national football titles. He served as the finance chairman of the board from 1991 through 1999 and again from 2000 to 2006. Lindberg was the commencement speaker at Augustana's graduation in 2000 and received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater.
Lindberg is a counsel in the law firm of Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP in Cincinnati. He was the managing partner in the firm from 1985 through 1998. He served on various boards in the Cincinnati area, including the NFL's Cincinnati Bengals.
It was that connection with the Bengals that brought Lindberg, Anderson and Knowlton together. While Lindberg was on the board of directors of the Bengals, Knowlton had a large share of the club's ownership and he and Lindberg were close friends. Anderson, a 1974 Augustana graduate, set every passing record at Augustana during his four year career that spanned from 1967 until 1970. He was drafted in the third round of the 1971 draft by the Bengals and he enjoyed a tremendous 16 year career in the NFL, all with the Bengals.
When he retired following the 1986 season, he held NFL records for consecutive pass completions (20), completion percentage for a single game (20 of 22 .909 vs. Pittsburgh in 1974) and completion percentage for a single season (.706 in 1982). He also held the Super Bowl record for completion percentage (.735). He was ranked sixth all-time in the NFL for passing yards in a career at the time of his retirement.
Anderson was a three time All-Pro selection and was picked to play in the Pro Bowl four times. He was the 1981 NFL MVP and led the Bengals to the 1982 Super Bowl. While at Augustana, he was also a 1,000 point scorer in basketball despite playing only three seasons. He graduated from Augustana with a degree in math and eventually received his law degree from Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky in 1981. He was Augustana's first Academic All-American and he was the third Viking to win an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The new turf is scheduled to be finished in time for the 2012 season and it replaces the original, which was installed in 2002. The rest of the project will be open prior to the 2013 season with the first game set for September 7 against Mount St. Joseph.
The original facility that sits on the south side of the Knowlton Complex was built in 1936 and doubled in size in 1962 and it will now become the visitor's section.
The architectural firm of Hastings and Chivetta from St. Louis is handling the design for the stadium project while Estes Construction will be the general contractor. Estes handled the renovation for Carlsson Hall five years ago and is currently doing the work on Old Main.