Recap: Trustees approve stadium renovations, statewide reading initiative


Joe Will Field

The University of Alabama Board of Trustees passed systemwide resolutions regarding tuition rates and renovations at the June 6 and 7 meetings.

Madison McLean, @MadisonMcLean3, Contributing Writer

The University of Alabama System’s Board of Trustees held their annual meeting last Thursday, Sept. 5, and Friday, Sept. 6.  

Renovations to Bryant-Denny Stadium are expected to increase by $13.5 million, rising from $92.5 million to $106 million. The project is scheduled to begin construction after the 2019 football season and should be completed before the 2020 season. 

The revisions to the stadium include:

  • Enhanced video scoreboards in the corners of the stadium
  • Renovated premium seating with the addition of 3,826 new premium seats
  • Addition of new skyboxes and renovations to existing skyboxes
  • Relocated press box
  • Upgraded locker room, recruiting lounge and tunnel for the players to enter the stadium
  • Renovated concessions and expanded concourses for fan traffic

This renovation is part of a 10-year plan known as The Crimson Standard that is expected to cost $600 million. The Crimson Tide Foundation has raised $269 million toward the funds so far. 

The board also launched a statewide reading initiative called “Reading Allies” that is designed to help K-3 elementary school students read on grade level by the end of the third grade. Dr. Robert Witt envisioned the program to help transform reading proficiency across the state of Alabama. 

“Reading Allies” hopes to develop a partnership with 25 universities and two-year colleges with 1,500 trained student reading tutors in schools across the state. They plan to recruit over 100 businesses and 1,000 trained volunteer tutors for K-5 schools. 

Also, a joint statement by Eliza and Hugh Culverhouse, Jr. and the Board of Trustees for The University of Alabama was released regarding their views for the future of The University of Alabama School of Law, following a decision at the last trustees meeting to rescind the top donor’s $21 million donation. 

[READ MORE: Emails show Culverhouse decision unrelated to abortion ban]

The statement reads that both parties agreed they had opposing views for the future of the school and further agreed on the University’s return of the Culverhouse donations for the benefit of the law school.

“All other statements made by either party regarding the decision to return Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s donations, or the removal of Hugh Culverhouse, Jr.’s name from The University of Alabama School of Law are withdrawn,” according to the statement. “This statement is the sole controlling statement by both parties regarding those matters, and neither party will issue any further statement as to the same.”