(COVINGTON, La.) — A new athletic storage facility has been erected on St. Paul’s campus in the Hunter Stadium complex this month, funded by graduating senior Trey Klechak’s grandfather, Dr. Thomas L. Klechak. This facility comes in a time where new space was needed and in which the old facility was lacking.
“It primarily houses equipment for the football and track teams,” Alumni and Development Director Al Nastasi said, “and occasionally items from other sports. The (former) building was in a dilapidated state, and interest had been expressed in furnishing a new shed.”
The old storage shed had shown moderate signs of water and termite damage according to Nastasi. Residing on campus for more than 40 years, it was agreed upon by the development board that new facilities were necessary.
“It’s built entirely out of brick and block with a metal roof,” Nastasi said, “so it not only aesthetically balances what is currently on campus, but it will also withstand the test of time. The mediums for construction are rot-resistant.”
Nastasi had met with Dr. Klechak to discuss ways in which he could support St. Paul’s development, and his reason to do so was something that contributes to many on-campus improvements: Legacy.
“I had met with him in regard to a way he could support St. Paul’s in an area that his grandson was involved with,” Nastasi said. “Trey both played football and ran track. Initially, Dr. Klechak was interest in creating a state-of-the-art shot put throwing area. Because of the master campus plan, we couldn’t put a permanent fixture (where he wanted it), however.”
After being presented with different ways to support St. Paul’s development, Dr. Klechak chose to support the construction of the new and improved storage building. According to Nastasi, he was excited about the direction it was heading.
“The end result was a more aesthetically pleasing building,” Nastasi said, “which balances the architecture of the home side concessions stand and increases the storage capacity of the original shed by over 30 percent.”
Additional features added were accommodations for a ticket booth area, a feature that the football program plans to reintroduce in the new building. The only built-in ticket booth in the football complex prior to the new structure was in the concession stands on the visitors’ side of the stadium.
“A small dedication ceremony was held including Dr. Klechak and members of his extended family Saturday evening after graduation,” Nastasi said, “And he remarked at his complete satisfaction with the project, in that it well exceeded his original expectations.”
The product of an 18-month long project, the structure only took two months to complete once a permit was received. Nastasi added that the legacy that Dr. Klechak has left will be beneficial for generations.
“The ultimate goal was to have it completed by Trey’s graduation,” Nastasi said, “so that when the family was in town, we could do the dedication. The mission was accomplished to the day, thanks to the efforts of the contractor, alumnus Chris Combs (’98) of CM Combs Construction, who deserves a thank you, not only for timely completion, but for donating his services as a general contractor on the project.”
During Dr. Klechak’s speech to his family at the dedication ceremony, he encouraged his grandson Trey to return to campus with his own children in the future and show them the legacy left behind by the Klechak family, said Nastasi.