Ole Miss Develops $69M Basketball Arena, U of Memphis Builds $62M Student Rec Center

Privately owned construction company BL Harbert International has announced receiving a $68.9 million contract to build the University of Mississippi Arena, the new home of the Ole Miss Basketball Teams.

Ole Miss Arena

Privately owned construction company BL Harbert International has announced receiving a $68.9 million contract to build the University of Mississippi Arena, the new home of the Ole Miss Basketball Teams.

Construction on the 230,000-square-foot facility will begin immediately with an expected completion in late 2015. The state-of-the-art facility will comprise a basketball court, training facilities, Courtside Club, Arena Club and All-American Suites. The 9,600-seat arena will replace the 1966-built C. M. Tad Smith Coliseum, which has a capacity of 8,700 and join the 2010-opened $13 million Tuohy Basketball Center training facility.

The new arena is designed by engineering design firm AECOM, which also worked on the FedExForum, the home of the NBA Memphis Grizzlies, the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. and the LA Dodger Stadium improvements. The facility will be developed on the west side of Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on a site occupied by a parking lot and the Rebel Shop.  The project also includes a five-story, 800-car parking facility. The development is financed by a loan filed by the Ole Miss Athletic Foundation filed through Regions Bank.

In other collegiate sports news, the University of Memphis is advancing on the construction of a new $62 million student recreation and fitness center, reports the Memphis Business Journal. Expected to open in 2018, the 192,500-square-foot center will be developed in three phases along Southern Avenue and will comprise a four-court divisible gym, an additional two-court gym, a multi-purpose fitness center featuring a climbing wall, six racquetball courts, a quarter-mile indoor track, a natatorium featuring a lane pool and a recreational pool as well as an outdoor leisure pool, training facilities, large group exercise areas, classrooms, offices, a juice bar and a wellness and nutrition area. Three full-size turf fields, basketball and tennis courts will make up the outdoor component of the center.

The fitness and rec center will be financed by a $307 student fee increase, applicable starting with the 2014-2015 school year. A $24 million parking garage and an $18 million land bridge connecting the recreation center to the northern part of the campus are also in the works.

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Image courtesy of BL Harbert International