McKendree University is making $410,000 in improvements to its campus arena just in time for the approaching basketball season.
The investment will include a new, 1,824-square-foot locker room facility attached to the Melvin Price Convocation Center that will serve both men's and women's athletic programs and give athletes a chance to train and condition in first class sports facilities.
"We are expanding and refurbishing our facilities and resources for basketball and other sports, as our student-athletes prepare to enter NCAA Division II competition next year," said Chuck Brueggemann, McKendree University director of athletics. "This project in particular will help us in our recruiting efforts and provide our students with a state-of-the-art facility."
According to McKendree University Vice President for Administration and Finance Sally Mahew, the improvements will be paid for entirely with private donations.
Construction is expected to be complete in mid-November. Hastings & Chivetta, of St. Louis, has designed the facility. Holland Construction Services, of Swansea, is managing the project.
McKendree's women's basketball team will open its home season Nov. 1 by hosting Lindenwood University-Belleville. McKendree's men's basketball team is scheduled to play its first home game of the 2012-13 season Nov. 21 against Lincoln University of Missouri.
Brueggemann said, in addition to benefiting McKendree basketball, the improved locker room facilities will be available for other organized sports including volleyball and wrestling programs. They also will be used by other students who use the Melvin Price Convocation Center.
Built in 1988 and named after longtime area Congressman Mel Price, the arena seats about 1,600 people for sporting events. It is attached to an intramural gym. The new locker room annex will be built on the east side of the existing building.
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