New SHSU ag arena construction pushed back due to lack of funds

The $20 million needed to build the new Gibbs Ranch Agricultural Arena that was projected to begin construction in 2014 has not yet been raised, officials said.

The Texas State University System Capital Improvements Plan had projected the arena to be built in 2014. Without the money this won’t happen, according to Stanley Kelley, Ph.D., chair of the animal science department.

“I don’t see it happening anytime soon,” Kelley said.

Kelley said that the department is working the Development Office to get donations for the arena. Julia May, director of SHSU communications, said the university will continue to solicit and accept donations for the construction project.

The arena will serve as a place of education for agricultural students, specifically students studying animal science, according to Kelley.

The education that will take place in the arena will focus on equine (horses) science , as well as working with livestock, specifically cattle.

“It will also serve as a practice arena for the college rodeo team,” Kelley said. “The rodeo team will also host college rodeos here.”

Kelley said that the arena could be used by the community and surrounding areas as well.

According to the CIP the arena complex will serve the “University’s need for enhanced educational opportunities, provide a facility with high revenue-generating potential, and serve as a fitting home for the University’s championship rodeo team.”

The arena will provide seating for 5,000, and will eventually include a covered connector building, a stall barn, an RV parking area, parking for 750 cars, and a horticultural center with classrooms, a floral design lab and greenhouses.

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