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Life in the Red: Talkin' cranes and Nebraska's $155 million facilities project
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Life in the Red: Talkin' cranes and Nebraska's $155 million facilities project

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Tower crane

A tower crane, erected this week, works at Nebraska's $155 million North Stadium expansion project. 

Yes, it's a serious and likely stressful stretch coming up over the next few weeks for the Nebraska football program. 

Outside of Memorial Stadium, there's talk about Husker football coach Scott Frost's job status beyond the 2021 season, and that talk has escalated quickly during Nebraska's three-game losing streak that turned a season of promise into a 3-6 mark with three games to go. 

On the practice field, though, there's been a lighter topic of conversation this week. 

Just beyond where NU does its outdoor practice work, Hausmann Construction erected a giant blue tower crane over the past few days. 

As Frost talked with reporters Thursday, workers were putting the finishing touches on the massive crane, walking on the scaffolding-like arm hundreds of feet above the ground. 

"You know, the talk all week has been the guys up on this giant crane," Frost said with a smile. "It looks like they’re about 300 feet off the ground. No chance I would be up there. I’m not scared of a lot, but heights don’t do it for me." 

NU athletic director Trev Alberts said recently that, overall, the Huskers' $155 million North Stadium expansion project is proceeding on time and on budget. On the actual footprint where the Husker football team's new operations center, locker rooms and weight rooms — along with departmentwide services such as academics, nutrition and more — will be, there are a couple of areas where pieces are starting to go into place. 

The project itself was announced in September 2019, just before the Huskers hosted Ohio State. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, work didn't actually begin until this summer. An on-time finish would mean having the football program moved into the new digs before the 2023 season. 

"It’s just good to see the progress," Frost said. "There’s going to have to be a lot of things that come together here for Nebraska to be elite like everybody wants it to be again. That’s a big part of it. I know we’re grateful to the people that have contributed to make it happen." 

And the people who don't mind climbing the tower crane ladder on a daily basis. 

Contact the writer at pgabriel@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.

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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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