Thursday August 6th, 2015

When looking for inspiration for Kansas State's new locker room inside the four-story, 132,000-square-foot Vanier Family Football Complex, designers didn’t stray far from the pigskin. The locker room, now more than twice the size of what the Wildcats previously enjoyed, is shaped like a football.

It serves as just one part of the $65 million facility that includes an 18,000-square-foot strength and conditioning center, a sports medicine and recovery facility, hydrotherapy and recovery pools, individual football position meeting rooms and offices for the coaching staff that overlook Bill Snyder Family Stadium. Oh, don’t forget the barber shop.

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The football team got its first look at the facility on Tuesday. “It’s incredible,” says senior wide receiver Kyle Klein. “We had very good facilities before, but this takes it to a whole new level. I feel like we can compete facility-wise with anyone in the country.”

Kansas State opens is 120th season of football on Sept. 5 by hosting South Dakota. The new north seating bowl project, connected to the Vanier complex includes enhanced sightlines, ADA seating and a new videoboard. The north end also connects to the current west-side stadium concourse for access to entrance gates, stadium concessions and restrooms.

The construction of the Populous-designed training center was finished in seven months and will be open to all Wildcats student-athletes.

“It’s amazing,” says junior running back Charles Jones. “We’re all excited to move in and get to work.”

Tim Newcomb covers stadiums, design and gear for Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.

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