Breaking down the budget of the new WKU Football locker room


Camden Bush

WKU Football announced the opening of a newly renovated team locker room March 20 via Twitter and Facebook. 

According to the locker room’s project budget worksheet, the renovation cost $855,855. 

“It was a total overhaul of the locker room,” Athletic Director Todd Stewart said. “Everything in there really had been the same since 2008. That was kind of the original one. And you know, after 15 years, we really needed more than just a refresh. So the lockers are new, the lighting is new. We put some graphics and some branding up and just totally overhauled it.”

The announcement of the construction of new locker rooms originally received mixed reactions in the WKU community and beyond. 

Many people called the expenditure into question due to other recent decisions the school has made regarding the budget.

Over the last calendar year, the school has made some cuts to academics. These cuts include the Arabic program as a whole and the Folk Studies program. 

When asked about the spending and those that oppose it, Stewart explained that none of the money that went into the project came from the state budget. 

“It was all privately funded,” Stewart said. “None of that came out of the state budget. You know, we had a number of former players that stepped up and helped out and the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation raised some money as well. And so everything that went in there was paid for by resources outside of the state budget.”

The official project budget worksheet that was attained via an Open Records Request states that the Hilltopper Athletic Foundation paid for $689,460 of the project. The remaining $166,395.28 was paid for with WKU’s Athletic Account according to the worksheet. 

“Before we knew the exact total costs of the locker room project, WKU Athletics incurred some costs for both a feasibility study and some of the initial costs,” Stewart said. “That is what totaled up to $166,395.28. However, that was ultimately covered by the HAF so the state budget did not incur any net expenses for the project.”

Eric Kondratieff, WKU’s chair of the Faculty Senate Budget and Finance Committee, said that Stewart explained the expenditure to members of the Budget and Finance Committee earlier this month, at their April 13 meeting.

“I personally am fine with such an expenditure, as it was deemed both necessary for the welfare of the athletes, and funded externally,” Kondratieff said. “Other faculty with whom I am in contact are also fine with it, especially as it is HAF’s prerogative to raise and spend money to support such projects.”

Aside from the immediate impact of the new locker room, Stewart thinks this project could help the program in the future.

Stewart believes that the new look locker room could be enticing to potential recruits who visit WKU. 

“I think anytime you’re recruiting, players want to know what kind of facility they’re going to train in,” Stewart said. “And part of that is what their locker room is like because they spent a lot of time there. So I do think it will help.”


Sports reporter Camden Bush can be reached at [email protected].