This time it was Schmidt-Bickle.
The families of Bob
and Pat Schmidt and Don and Chris Bickle have teamed up repeatedly to
donate funds for much-needed improvements within the Hays community. The
order of the names previously had been Bickle-Schmidt -- as in the
Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex -- but this time the names were reversed.
The Fort Hays State
University community, including hundreds of athletes, gathered at 8:30
on Saturday morning to dedicate the Schmidt-Bickle Indoor Training
The Schmidt and
Bickle families announced two years ago that they were each donating $1
million to jump-start funding for an indoor practice venue that would
serve multiple Tiger sports teams. The 50,400-square-foot facility on
the site of the former practice field between Lewis Field Stadium and
Big Creek is now a reality.
"I want to thank
the student athletes who got up early and came here on Saturday morning
to help honor the two families who made this possible," said Dr. Edward
H. Hammond, FHSU president. Recognizing that "success in life is not an
act, it's a habit," the president said it was important to give FHSU
athletes a practice facility where they could develop successful habits.
Chris Brown, speaking on behalf of all Tiger coaches, thanked the
Schmidts and Bickles and said the new facility would help attract
student athletes. "For recruiting, it will be tremendous," he said.
"When you walk into this building, how could you not want to come here?"
Don Bickle thanked
President Hammond and Athletic Director Curtis Hammeke for their
foresight and tenacity. "Chris and I were pleased, proud and honored to
be involved in this fine project," he said.
Bob Schmidt was
also in a celebratory mood. "I'm delighted to be here," he said, adding,
"but at 86, I'm delighted to be anywhere." He also took a playful jab
at his partnership with Don Bickle, noting that the two had been
involved in more than 20 for-profit and non-profit enterprises, and that
some of the for-profit ventures had turned out to be non-profit. "None
has given us more pleasure than this facility," he said. "All you
athletes, this is for you."
The new facility
serves athletes who represent FHSU in football, men and women's track,
baseball, softball, men and women's golf, and men and women's soccer.
The facility has a 65-yard, artificial-turf practice field; batting
cages; a 70-yard, three-lane synthetic track with jump pits; a
5,000-square-foot weight room; and a team meeting room.
veneer on the north and east sides of the building, a folding partition
that allows the meeting space to be divided into separate rooms,
equipment for weight training, and other furnishings. Compton
Construction Corp. of Wichita was the general contractor.
The cost of the project was about $4.2 million.