Posted on Jun 11, 2018 in Alumni News and News
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What started as a means to pass time between NCAA tournament games turned into much more for Jarrod, f’95, g’03, and Kate Neely Williams, ’97, who this spring masterminded the construction of Alhen Field House, a wildly creative chicken coop built in the likeness of KU’s legendary basketball arena.
The Maryland transplants, who moved to Grimesland, North Carolina, last year after retiring from the U.S. Naval Academy Band, hatched a plan for the hen house while discussing permanent lodging for the family’s 15 baby chicks, which include Devonte’ GrayHen, Bawk Vaughn, Chick Collison, Scot Pullet and Greg Roostertag.
“They can’t stay in the brood house forever,” Jarrod recalls telling his wife. “Why don’t we put them in Allen Field House?”
Alhen Field House
The Williamses, who were members of the KU basketball band, relied on memory and details they found online to construct the 10-by-14-foot structure, which features the field house’s signature red roof, limestone-hued walls, abundant rows of windows and large 3-D block letters that spell out “Alhen Field House.”
“We were just going to do the outside, but we thought how plain the inside looked,” says Jarrod, who embellished the coop’s interior with hand-painted championship and final four banners, as well as a Bawk Chalk scoreboard—complete with a blowout KU win over Mizzou—and the retired jerseys of Jayhawk greats. He even recreated the antique Longines clock that hangs on Allen Field House’s west wall.
“The 172-95 score is our all-time record against Mizzou,” says Kate. “We didn’t just make it up out of thin air, or it would have been even more lopsided.”
Jarrod insists there are no ruffled feathers in his ‘hood, despite the fact that nearly everyone is a Tar Heel or Blue Devil. “I’m really making friends in my new neighborhood,” he jokes.
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Photos courtesy of Jarrod Williams