Donors, administrators and coaches alike beamed outside of Kaplan Arena on William and Mary campus today. After a tumultuous three years for the athletic department, today was defined by celebration and a well funded future. A collection of golden shovels sat perched in a makeshift dirt bed, behind the display a podium played host to a whose who of University dignitaries. Once the speeches were finished, the group grabbed the shovel and plunged them into the dirt, signifying broken ground on an athletic facilities overhaul.
The project includes Kaplan Arena, a new Sports Performance Center adjacent to the arena, the Mackesy Tennis Center, Busch Field and the Tribe Field Hockey Center.
Ultimately the project will include two phases, today marked the beginning of the first. Phase one will include construction of the Sports Performance Center with a new sports medicine area and strength and conditioning spaces. Additionally there will be a new dedicated practice court for both basketball programs and the Tribe volleyball team. This phase will also include renovated locker rooms, light renovations in Kaplan Arena and a new videoboard and lighting for the arena. The aesthetic renovations will make for a more exciting viewing experience for fans, and an atmosphere befitting big time college basketball. In order to complete phase one, the university needs to raise an additional $6 million.
Phase two will improve Kaplan Arena seating and fan amenities and will also expand and renovate the entry lobby and building façade to create a new entry and gathering space.