State committee approves $37.5 million budget for Hulman Center renovation

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The Hulman Center is finally getting a $50 million renovation as the state releases $37.5 million to mobilize the project. Image source: http://wikipedia.org (attribute to C. Bedford Crenshaw)
The Hulman Center is finally getting a $50 million renovation as the state releases $37.5 million to mobilize the project.

After seven years of discussion, the 44-year-old Hulman Center of Indiana State University in Terre Haute is getting an overhaul as the State Budget Committee approved on Oct. 23 the release of $37.5 million of state appropriations.

The $37.5 million budget is taken from the 2015 biennial budget and covers a large part of the $50 million total cost. The remainder of the project funding will be taken from capital reserves, gifts, and non-fee replaced debt which will be paid using the university’s income.

Overall, the project will cost $50 million. Renovation is scheduled to commence following the end of the 2017-18 men’s and women’s basketball seasons next spring. It is expected to be completed in an estimated period of 26 months. During the renovation, the 10,000-seat arena will remain open but only limited activities are allowed.

To date, there are no specifics as to what improvements the project will include. Sherard Clinkscales, ISU director of athletics, said that he and Greg Lansing, ISU men’s basketball coach, are still going to put together a wishlist of what they want for the facility. Clinkscales also pointed out his priorities.

“One, I want to change how the fan experience is. So when they come to Hulman Center they say, ‘Hey, this is really good. This is different.’ That’s important because we have to put people in the seats,” Clinkscales told the Tribune Star.

He added, “… Greg is going to need something we can recruit to for basketball. He wants a practice floor or wants the locker room renovated. There’s things like that which will be good from a recruiting standpoint.”

Built in 1973, the Hulman Center is described by Clinkscales as a “big, black box.” Its electrical and mechanical systems are already outdated. Only one elevator operates in the building and the loading dock does not meet modern standards.