By LARRY VAUGHT
LOUISVILLE — Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart talked briefly with media members at the Governor’s Cup press conference here Wednesday and touched on renovations at Commonwealth Stadium and Rupp Arena.
Question: How do you feel about picking an architect/builder for Commonwealth Stadium?
Barnhart: “It’s a start. It’s a long process. These things are lengthy. You go through schematic design, design phases, then you’ve got to go through the bid process, construction, all those pieces. It’s a long process. As things are playing out, hopefully we’ll be able to start moving some dirt around at the end of this season and people will see some progress. What that means long term for 2014 and then ‘15. Not real sure right now because the architects and all those folks have to come back with us and tell us what things will have to happen in stages. So it’s like a giant Erector set, Legos, whatever you want to call it. So we’ve just got to find a way, figure out what the next thing is.”
Question: How big is it to be able to put plans for a renovated Commonwealth Stadium in the football coaches’ hands from a recruiting standpoint?
Barnhart: “I think they know it’s happening. We haven’t gone this far … We’re clearly there. Now we just have to go through the actual process. To give them some actual pictures would be great. It would be really wonderful for them to be able to do that. To some degree when they come on campus, we’ve been able to walk them through. There’s no mystery in that. So we’ve been able to do that very effectively. Mark’s staff does a great job of walking people through what we’re trying to do.”
Question: What is UK’s involvement with the Rupp Arena renovations?
Barnhart: “We’re listening. We’re listening through that process. Clearly that’s a long process as well. We’ve got a lease through 2018 and there’s pieces of that puzzle that all have to happen whether that’s design in that process, what that means for us and what that looks like. It’s a fairly lengthy process as well and we’re in conversation with them and it’s a university conversation, which is great. We’re fine. We’re willing to take our time and be patient, not in a real rush and making sure it gets managed the right way.”