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This is the seventeenth post in an ongoing series as we file Missouri Sunshine Law (RSMo 610) requests and investigate the non-renewal of the contract of University of Central Missouri President Aaron Podolefsky. Links to previous coverage are below the fold. BG and MB

From the Warrensburg Daily-Star Journal (note: this story is not available on-line), September 28, 1995:

The Daily Star-Journal, Warrensburg, MO, Thursday, September 28, 1995 [Sports, page 4]

New Facility Will Be Named Audrey Walton Stadium

Audrey J. Walton, a Versailles woman who provided the lead gift for construction of Central Missouri State University’s new football stadium, will now have her name associated with that facility as the result of action taken yesterday by the university’s Board of Regents….

….”We are pleased to associate Mrs. Walton’s name with a facility that would not have been possible if it weren’t for her generosity,” said Ed Elliott, university president. “Since there were no state funds available for this type of project, we turned to alumni and friends of the university, and we were overwhelmed by their outstanding show of support.”

Walton said she became interested in assisting the university after watching “Sportspage,” a program which airs on KMOS-TV, Central’s public television station, which indicated that the original stadium, built in 1928, needed to be replaced. She called Athletics Director Jerry Hughes, himself a native of Versailles, to find out how she might get involved. Then Hughes and President Elliott made a presentation to her outlining what was needed, and she agreed to make a contribution….

From 2007:


Date: 10/15/2007 11:01 AM

Subject:  Walton Stadium Bond


When we met to discuss the “BOG – Annual Debt Service” report, an item that came up was the funding for the Walton Stadium Bond. The 1999 Bond Agreement (legal document for the refinancing) states “all income and revenues derived by the University from the operation of the Stadium Facility including revenues from the Designated Portion of the Student Fee, investment and rental income are to be applied to pay interest on the bonds less current expenses”.

I don’t know why the suite rental income was ever recorded on the Foundation’s books to begin with but it has since the inception of the original bond (1995). The Foundation used to transfer the suite proceeds back to the University but [….] instructed the transfer be discontinued. The suite income is approximately $44,000 annually. I think [….] wanted the suite income to pay for the expenses Athletics was charging to the Foundation.

Since the Walton Stadium operating costs are borne by the General Fund, in my opinion, the Walton Stadium suite income should be directed to the General Fund to be in compliance with the Bond Agreement. Other Walton Stadium income such as football ticket sales, concessions etc are in the Athletics budget (General Fund).

The designated portion of the student fee referenced in paragraph 1 above, is the $1.25 Facilities fee per credit hour. The $1.25 Facilities fee totals approximately $280,000 annually; so you couple the $280,000 With the suite income of $44,000 that basically would cover the annual Walton Stadium bond payment of $329,000. We have always used the $1.25 Facility Fee to pay for the Stadium Bond but have not received the Walton Suite Income for a few years.

Please let me know if you need additional information.


Well, we thought something happened in 2007. You think the university president fixed that problem? You think that may have upset some people? We understand that the suite income is now going toward the bond payment.

There are some stories in archives from 1994 and 1995 about the stadium and those bonds and the financing of the stadium.

Muleskinner, Thursday,August 25, 1994. [Sports, page 11]

Stadium plans return above projected cost

….The University Board of Regents received bids for construction Aug. 16. However, the lowest bid was $6.5 million, $2.1 million above the university’s budgeted cost of $4.4 million.

Jerry Hughes, Central athletic director, said that university officials will meet with architects to try to cut costs. Highes said that he thought the project would be able to continue without much delay….

Muleskinner, Thursday, December 1, 1994. [Sports, page 9]

New Stadium to vault Central ahead of MIAA

By J.R. Belew

Staff writer

….Thomas Edmunds, senior vice president for business affairs, said the cost of the new structure is $5 million. It is funded by alumni donations and $4 million in bonds….

….”They (the suites) are helping pay for the rest of the stadium by the way we package them,” Hughes said….

Alumni Today, Winter 1995, page 9

Fundraising for stadium continues

….Cost of the new stadium to be built at Vernon Kennedy Field, is $4.4 million. The Foundation has approximately $2 million to be raised for the project….

Muleskinner, Thursday, August 24, 1995. [Sports, page 9]

Stadium almost ready for the first game

By Jean Ann Nichols

Sports Editor

…When complete, the newly constructed stadium will consist of a lower and upper level of metal bleacher seats as well as two levels of luxury suites and a press box….

….The suites, for either eight or 16 people, are furnished with theater seats, televisions, refrigerators and counters. The suites are available to either businesses or private individuals. An eight person suit sells for $50,000 for 10 years and a 16 person suite sells for $100,000.

Edmunds said the suites have sold very well, and only a few remain unsold. The revenue from the suites was used as part of the funding for the stadium….

Muleskinner, Thursday, September 28, 1995. [page 1]

New stadium to be named for Walton

By Darin Sparks

Staff Writer

The Board of Regents unanimously voted to name the new football stadium for Audrey J. Walton of Versailles, Mo., at yesterday’s meeting.

The amount received for the stadium is $5.5 million. Walton is the major donor. The largest single gift was $1 million….

….President Ed Elliott said donations by Walton and others made the stadium possible.

“We are pleased to associate Mrs. Walton’s name with a facility that would not have been possible if it weren’t for her generosity,” he said. “Since there were no state funds available for this type of project, we turned to alumni friends of the university, and we were overwhelmed by their outstanding show of support….

Muleskinner, Thursday, October 19, 1995. [page 1]

Stadium might require general revenue funds

Use of general funds depends of donations collected

by Darin Sparks

Staff Writer

The Audrey J. Walton Stadium at Vernon Kennedy Field has cost an estimated $5.8 million, $4 million of which was raised in bonds that the university has to pay back in 20 years….

….If Central does not receive enough money in donations to pay off the bonds, the payments will be taken from the university’s general funds, Edmunds said.

“You have to pledge something against it,” Edmunds said. “And in this case it is university revenues….”

….Steven Boone, assistant professor of chemistry, said faculty were told that the stadium would be paid for by private donations.

“It is my underst
anding that the funding for the stadium is from donations,” he said.

Joseph Mazza, professor of speech communications….said, to his understanding, the bonds were to be paid off by donations.

“Initially, there was a $1 million pledge from an anonymous source,” he said. “We know who that was now, and because of the time restrainsts for receiving donations, we had to sell bonds to cover the cost of the project….”

Why is it that numbers never add up?

The stadium suites – on the outside, looking in.

Our previous coverage:

Three steps behind, and to the right (January 25, 2008)

Three steps behind, and to the right, part 2 – a microcosm of our universe (September 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”? (October 15, 2009) (transcript of a portion of the live radio broadcast)

It wasn’t just about a tree (October 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: I heard it on the radio (October 21, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: let’s not get cut out of the will (October 22, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: $87.75 will get you one sheet of paper (October 23, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: They’re not playing hardball, they’re playing cat and mouse
 (October 23, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: a cola and some scoreboards (October 24, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: a few more pieces of the puzzle? (October 28, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: your silence means consent (October 29, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: let’s not get cut out of the will, part 2 (October 30, 2009)

Old media irony impairment (October 30, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement?”: I heard it on the radio, part 2 (October 31, 2009)

“A Gentleman’s Agreement”?: where everybody knows your name (October 31, 2009)

Methinks that someone is paying attention! (November 2, 2009)