SOSU breaks ground on new Rodeo and Agriculture Expo Center

Published: Apr. 25, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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DUANT, Okla. (KXII) -A celebratory day for the Savage Storm today as their new Rodeo and Agriculture Expo Center broke ground Monday afternoon.

“It’s been an emotional day, I’m super over the top excited to finally see this come to life. It’s been in the process for a long time,” Head Coach for the rodeo team Christi Braudrick said.

After nearly 8 years off campus, the Savage Storm Men’s and Women’s Rodeo Team will now be back on campus.

Something current team member Gus Franzen is excited about.

“Our current facility is on south 9th near the casino a little bit out of town, having a facility right here close to campus will be handy and will be close to town and hopefully encourage some of the other student life to come out and support the rodeo team,” Franzen said.

“So to have all of our facilities on campus allows our students to continue to really be integrated as part of the student body and our rodeo team is a really big piece of who we are at Southeastern,” President of SOSU Dr. Thomas Newsom said.

This is just phase one of the Rodeo and Agriculture Expo Center.

“Our current facility is outdated to say the least and to have a state of the art facility like this is gonna be safer for us and our horses and give us better opportunity to prepare ourselves to compete,” Franzen said.

The new facility will sit on roughly 60 acres of land with a lighted outdoor arena and seating for more than 500 spectators.

Dr. Thomas said the project cost more than $2 million.

“This is super exciting for the future of the rodeo team, to bring recruits in, to bring people into the community to have events.” Braudrick said.

Current Rodeo members, alumni, SOSU faculty and staff, along with community members were in attendance for Monday’s event.

“I was just overwhelmed with the number of folks that came out today, I think we had a couple of hundred people out here,” Dr. Newsom said.

“Yeah that was super awesome, I had no idea how many people were gonna show up to this and to get a good turn out on a good day like this is exciting,” Franzen said.

Dr. Newsom hopes to start construction starting in June with the project to be complete this time next year.

“With this being built, I think that the winning tradition will continue and honestly get even more so than it has so currently,” Braudrick said.

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