Throughout the years, Pittsburg State alumni have helped fund new projects, renovations, and improvements to campus.
The newest improvements to be made are to the Garfield Weede Building.
Paula Schnaer graduated from PSU in 1972. That years graduating class was the first to hold commencement ceremonies in the Weede Building. The only problem Paula noted was that the gym wasn’t air conditioned at the time and the heat during the month of May made for “brutal” ceremonies.
Additionally, Paula’s husband, Miles, and daughter, Mandi, also attended PSU.
The Schnaers own Crown Automotive in Lawrence and are helping to fund a new HVAC system and video building which will be installed this summer. The improvements total $2.2 million.
“We all enjoyed our experience (at PSU) and are wanting everyone who follows us to have that same great opportunity,” Miles told the PSU Marketing and Communication Department.
The new video board, measuring 25 by 11.5 feet, will take the place of the current center-court overhead scoreboard and will be installed in the west end of the arena. It will also include three LED shot clocks, five locker room clocks, a scoreboard-only display for the south side of the arena, and two smaller scoreboard-only displays for the north side above each exit. The new video board will also allow communication students to play instant replays and close-up shots.
The new HVAC system includes a complete replacement of the current heating system and an additional unit for air conditioning. The system is designed to handle maximum occupancy of the arena and provide appropriate ventilation and dehumidification. Moreover, new ceiling fans will be installed.
“We’re so thankful for the generosity of the Schnaers, who truly embody the phrase, ‘Once a Gorilla. Always a Gorilla’ and we’re proud of all that they’ve gone on to achieve after graduating that enables them to give back,” said Kathleen Flannery, Vice President for University Advancement and President and CEO of the PSU Foundation.
Without air conditioning, John Lance Arena heated up in the spring and summer months but with the help of the Schnaers and the new improvements, the arena can now be used comfortably all year long.
“With the support of the Schnaers and Crown Automotive, Pittsburg State can grow the use of John Lance Arena and transform it into an in-demand showcase venue suitable for use year-round,” said Jim Johnson, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.
The Schnaers have also funded scholarships and other PSU projects.
“Our desire to be involved at a higher level has to do with our confidence in the leadership at the school, from Dr. Scott and his staff and beyond,” Miles said. “Pitt State deserves the support from all of us who have come through the doors to get degrees and have succeeded in their lives because of that opportunity.”