The Texas State University System Board of Regents approved a multi-million-dollar renovation to expand Strahan Coliseum.
The coliseum, home to the Texas State basketball and volleyball teams, is expected to undergo construction next August, according to the agreement. Juan Guerra, associate vice president of facilities, said a design layout will be approved this October. Once renovation starts, it will take an estimated two years to complete the construction, Guerra said. Renovation is expected to be complete by Spring 2018.
In May, renovation plans will be submitted to the Board of Regents. If they approve, construction will most likely start next August, Guerra said.
The coliseum will be converted int a 360-degree seating arena, Guerra said. The east wall will be knocked down to complete the circular arena.
“Underneath the arena, we will also be adding office spaces for the athletics department,” Guerra said. “We will also renovate the current locker rooms. In total, we are looking at a total of 80,000 square feet added to the coliseum.”
Guerra said the renovations are estimated to cost around $51 million with $36 million dedicated to construction costs. Design and other costs are estimated to be $15 million.
The renovation is being paid by different entities such as athletics and university-issued bonds, Guerra said. The HEAF (Higher Education Assistance Fund) is used to help pay the cost of the multi-million-dollar renovation.
Since the coliseum opened in 1982, the commencement ceremonies have been held at Strahan. The venue, as it stands, holds 7,200 seats.
For the past three commencement seasons, the coliseum has become insufficient in accommodating all the guests that come and celebrate the accomplishments of their loved ones, said Debbie Thorne, associate vice president of Academic Affairs.
“The capacity has become so full that some guests have to watch the ceremonies in another room through a livestream,” Thorne said. “We don’t want to people to come all the way to a graduation ceremony, and have to watch their loved ones graduate from another location in Strahan.”
Thorne said each graduating student brings about 10 guests on average.
“With the larger seating section, it will allow us to fill the coliseum with more guests that attend our commencement ceremonies,” Thorne said. “I am happy for the renovation, as it is necessary for our growing campus.”
Thorne is in charge of commencement at the university and has assisted in the efforts to renovate the coliseum.
“The coliseum just cannot sustain the amount of people coming to see these ceremonies,” Thorne said. “With the university growing at such an alarming rate, I feel the renovation is coming at a good time.”
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