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Major renovation work at EKU's Alumni Coliseum underway

EKU Alumni Coliseum
EKU Athletics
EKU Alumni Coliseum

Eastern Kentucky University’s Baptist Health Arena at Alumni Coliseum is now in full-fledged renovation mode. The home to basketball and volleyball athletics and many other activities is closed. Plans now call for temporarily re-opening next January for the ASUN basketball season and 2025 graduation ceremonies. EKU President David McFaddin said the new facility will offer new opportunities.

“I will say that we will have to phase that work a little bit. We will be back open, we’ll be competing and using the space. But, there will be some things that we’ll have to fine-tune, even after we open on January 1. Probably taking us through the better part of 2025 to really put a bow on it and have it just as it needs to be,” said McFaddin.

The $30 million upgrades will benefit EKU and the local community with an increased number of spaces to better accommodate hosting tournaments and special events. Students in several programs will have opportunities for hands-on learning in areas like hospitality, physical therapy, broadcasting and electronic media, and food and nutrition.

McFaddin said the postponement of the project was the best option.

“The lead time on so much of the mechanical, electrical plumbing systems were so long, it really made little sense to close the facility and sit and wait for those key components to come. So, we decided to go ahead and have the competition year, pre-ordered all of that equipment. That equipment is on site,” said McFaddin.

With work underway, the EKU women’s volleyball team will play its 2024 home games inside the Rick Erdman Olympic Sports Training Center. The renovated Alumni Coliseum features will include a 300-person concourse club, a conference area, new restrooms, and expanded sports medicine spaces. The facility’s iconic wood laminated cross-arch roof, spanning 309 feet, will remain.

The restoration is set to be finished by the fall of 2025.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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