BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) – Major changes are coming to Indiana university's basketball scene as the school broke ground on long-awaited renovations to Assembly Hall.
The 43-year-old home of IU basketball will get a whole new look by the fall of 2016 and construction began this week.
“I am thrilled that this project will preserve the best home court advantage in college basketball while also greatly enhancing the total game day experience for every fan, player, coach and visitor,” said athletics director Fred Glass.
It was announced in December of 2013 that Assembly Hall would be getting a makeover after a $40 million donation from Cindy Simon Skjodt. Her donation is the largest in the history of IU Athletics and the building will be renamed the Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.
“I grew up going to Indiana University games and have great memories of watching basketball games with my father,” said Cindy Simon Skjodt. “The atmosphere in Assembly Hall is truly unmatched anywhere in college basketball.”
It has been home to IU basketball since 1971 and holds more than 17,000 fans. Architectural renderings show what parts of the building will look like after renovations.
The renovation will revamp the look of the front of the building with an entry plaza, as well as new VIP suites and hospitality areas.
The new entrance to Assembly Hall will include new ticket windows, concourse flooring, branding, signage and lobby restrooms. Construction will replace existing ramps with escalators in both the south and the north concourses.
“The new and expanded south lobby will serve as a beacon toward the rest of campus and for all of those coming to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall,” said Tom Morrison, IU Vice President, Capital Planning and Facilities. “On the inside, Hoosier faithful will also find all of comforts that fans could hope for on game days.”
Some of those fans have already gotten a look at the plans.
“I thought it was nice how they're going to put in more trees and make it more inviting almost, especially for tailgates because I know my parents set up tents over here so it will be more of a secluded area – I guess you could say," Sophomore Falynne Martin said.
Demolition, construction and renovations at Assembly Hall will continue through the Fall of 2016.
IU president Michael McRobbie, Tom Crean and student-athletes spoke about the renovations during a groundbreaking ceremony.