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A view of the floor 
    of John Lance Arena

Becoming the Best of the Best

Student dunking a basketball

The renovation and expansion of the "Weede" marks the beginning of an exciting new era on the campus of Pittsburg State University. This project will improve the collegiate experience of every student on our campus and help ensure Pittsburg State remains a premiere Division II intercollegiate destination for student-athletes throughout the nation..

Pittsburg State is home to 13 intercollegiate athletic programs, and our goal is to become the "best of the best" at the Division II level. This is a daunting challenge, made all the more difficult by the current state of our indoor athletic center. Much has changed at the Division II level in the 40 years since the "Weede" was constructed. Our student-athletes are performing at a level that was unimaginable as little as a decade ago, and they’re doing so in a building that was constructed when Richard Nixon was still in office.

Constructing a new Weede complex will allow us to enhance the athletic experience for our students, our fans and our community. It will allow Pittsburg State to remain competitive on a national level and provide the foundation for future growth.

The tabs at the top of this page will provide you with additional details on this exciting project. Hear from our coaches, discover our vision and become involved in helping Pittsburg State become the "best of the best."

Aerial view of the Weede building shortly after construction.
Learn the Details

History of the Weede

Looking back at John Lance Arena.

In 1971, the Garfield W. Weede Physical Education Building was completed at a cost of $2.6 million. This building houses many facilities, including classrooms, offices, a swimming pool, an indoor track and basketball courts. The building was dedicated in honor of Garfield Wilson Weede two months prior to his death.

At the time the building was constructed, it was equal to or above the level of athletic program facilities at similar sized universities. Over the past 40 years however, other institutions have improved or added to their indoor athletic facilities. This has placed Pittsburg State at a competitive disadvantage.

Why it is needed

Play the congestion and safety video

Sufficient Practice Space – When the Weede Physical Education Building was built, one team utilized the facility. Now the building caters to the practice needs of men's and women's basketball, volleyball, indoor track, baseball, softball, football and golf. Learn more here.

Play competition video

Increasing competition – A lot has changed in the 40 years since the Weede was originally constructed, including the level of competition. PSU's indoor-practice facility is among the smallest in the MIAA which places it in a competitive disadvantage. Learn more here.

Play recruiting video

Recruiting – Pittsburg State is constantly competing with universities throughout the nation for high quality students. Student-athletes look for a university that can meet their needs in the classroom and on the court. A first-class indoor athletic complex will help attract the best and brightest students from across the nation. Learn more here.

Concept Gallery

Economic Benefit

The new Weede athletic complex will not only improve educational and recreational opportunities for our students; it has the potential to serve as a catalyst for our community's future economic growth.

Play economic impact video

The additional equipment and resources included in the new complex will allow Pittsburg State University the opportunity to host a variety of local, regional and national events. The university will, for the first time, be an attractive option for indoor track and field championships, indoor youth sporting events and gymnastics and cheer competitions.

The indoor event facility will have the ability to host more than just athletic events. Its design will allow it to showcase major trade shows, resulting in additional economic opportunities for the city of Pittsburg.

In fact, a recent economic impact study estimates the new complex will potentially increase local retail sales by at least $20 million over a ten year period. During that same time span, the complex is estimated to bring nearly $500,000 in additional tax revenue to the city.

By becoming a part of this project, you’re not just helping Pittsburg State University; you’re improving life for the residents of southeast Kansas.

Total Economic Impact of the Project

(Includes construction jobs, new permanent jobs, and event visitors)

Community BenefitOver 10 YearsOver 20 Years
Highest # of Construction Jobs Created 444 444
Average # of Construction Jobs Created 259 259
Permanent PSU Jobs Created 136 227
Related Hospitality Sector Jobs Created 122 285
Total New Permanent Jobs 257 512
University Enrollment 8,476 10,006
Direct Revenue to City of Pittsburg $5,276,987 $16,460,239
Direct Revenue to Crawford County $3,000,851 $10,317,875
Total Direct Economic Benefit $8,277,838 $26,778,114
Increase in Local Personal Incomes $72,980,528 $232,145,224
Increase in Local Retail Spending $246,519,035 $808,100,492
Addition to Local Property Tax Base $9,599,768 $29,973,258
Total Indirect Economic Benefit $329,099,331 $1,070,218,974
Total Direct & Indirect Economic Benefit $337,377,169 $1,096,997,008

(Does not include transient guest tax, which goes to the county)

Alan & Roberta Whetzel

"Basketball forever and volleyball for 30 years – sports are integral parts of our family.

We know that 'success is built on the practice floor.' Quality practice facilities will define future success for three Gorilla athletic programs. The impact for men's basketball, women's basketball and women's volleyball will enhance the opportunities for the dedicated athletes and great coaches at Pitt State to excel.

We are excited to participate in making a difference for indoor sports and the Pittsburg State University community."

– Alan & Roberta Whetzel

Brian Moorman

"The addition of a 300m track will immediately increase Pittsburg State's track program to one of the elite programs in the country now that the facilities will equal the program. That coupled with the indoor practice facilities for the football program and increasing space for all other sports, Pittsburg State will have one of the best facilities at any level in the NCAA.

Pittsburg State is now going to be the 'go to' place not only for track and field events and community events, but more importantly, top recruits."

– Brian Moorman

Dina (Wathan) Blevins

"The renovations and improvements to the Weede facilities will make a significant impact on recruiting young athletes along with improving daily practices and game situations."

– Dina (Wathan) Blevins, Volleyball (2003-07)

Tim Beck

"College athletics is about recruiting players and developing those players once you get them on campus. An indoor facility would help both of those. Besides being an asset for all of our athletes, the facility also would show the commitment our university and the community has for Pitt State Athletics."

– Tim Beck, Head Football Coach

Lane Lord

"The renovation of the Weede and John Lance Arena obviously will impact all sports on some level. The project definitely will aid in recruiting as we strive to provide one of the top facilities in the MIAA and Division II. For the student-athletes and the fans, the game day environment will have a chance to be second to none. It’s an exciting project that I hope many individuals will embrace and help see through to fruition."

– Lane Lord, Women's Basketball Coach

"Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."
~ Vince Lombardi
Entrance to Pittsburg, KS

The proposed Weede athletic complex is more than a simple practice facility. Its forward-thinking design will allow it to serve as an educational, recreational and economic resource for our students, our faculty and our community.

You have an opportunity to be part of a project that will positively impact Pittsburg State University and its community for generations to come. Success never happens by accident. It only occurs when determined people come together for a worthy cause.

Thank you for your consideration. Visit the PSU website to make a gift online. For further information contact:

Kendall Gammon
Director of Major Gifts

Pittsburg State University
913-284-6514
kgammon@pittstate.edu

OR

Pittsburg State University
Office of University Development

200 Shirk Hall
1701 S. Broadway
Pittsburg, KS 66762
620-235-4768