Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Southeast Missouri State University's Houck Stadium renovation reaches new phase of life

Friday, July 15, 2022
Photo submitted by University Marketing

The state of Missouri awarded $11 million to Southeast Missouri State University for the renovation of Houck Stadium on Thursday, July 14. The money will fund demolition, site preparation and planning, design, and construction.

The construction project for Houck stadium will start with a bid on Sunday, July 17. The project will have two phases before the stadium’s completion. The University sent out a news release on Thursday, July 14, regarding the stadium.

The stadium will include a football and soccer field, academic and laboratory spaces.

In the news release, University president Carlos Vargas stated he appreciated the Governor’s support to fund the stadium.

“This is a critical first step in not only improving facilities on our campus that are more than 90 years old, but also in addressing real needs for our academic programs,” Vargas stated.

In phase one, bid requests are being sent to rebuild the south grandstand, fan facilities, restrooms, concession stands and mechanical work. Last year, after a structural assessment, the south grandstand was demolished. SEMO received bids for its replacement for $12 million, but rebuilding was more expensive. SEMO director of athletics Brady Barke stated redesigning the stadium will help to focus more on the fans’ experience.

For phase two, the completed stadium will offer academic spaces and laboratory spaces for health sciences. The university plans to incorporate a health laboratory, biology lab, virtual anatomy laboratory and life science laboratory.

Vargas stated in the news release the Houck Stadium project will not only include athletics, but academics, as well.

“It will be a multi-use complex that will include a facility with classrooms, labs and offices to support STEM, health, life and allied health sciences research, and academic programs,” Vargas stated. “Our academic programs, particularly health sciences, provide real-world learning opportunities by working with our athletics teams. This will only strengthen the educational and professional experiences we offer our students and make them even more qualified, competent job candidates, in addition to strengthening the existing support and partnerships with employers and community partners.”

Construction is expected to begin this fall and will continue through Summer 2023, with the initial phase planned to be complete in time for the Fall 2023 season.

For more information and updates on the stadium, visit the university’s website.