November 17, 2005
Construction on the new arena is underway. In a planning meeting Arena officials made an announcement that the connector will be open five months earlier, sometime in the end of January. The timetable is a bit different for the John Paul Jones Arena itself, however.
The new arena is a basketball fan's dream come true and today the John Paul Jones Arena is a step closer to being finished.
"The arena project is right on schedule as we speak today and from a budget standpoint it's in good shape also," said Dick Laurance, the project manager.
This $129.8 million dollar arena is expected to be complete in the summer of 2006.
But right now, electrical and finish work is what the construction crew is currently working on. On this chilly day the crew is thankful for one piece of equipment that was just put in.
"Today is the first day we've had the heat on and it's fully enclosed," said Laurance.
It may be enclosed but it is not nearly complete. When it is the arena will feature everything from a top intercollegiate basketball program, including training rooms, multiple practice courts, even a lounge.
On the main court 15,000 seats will soon be sold screaming fans. 1,500 of those fans will be able to park in the new parking lot or garage. Which is more than we can say for many other arenas offer.
"We believe it will be the best in the United States - we're very confident in that as a matter of fact," said Laurance.
Throughout this winter, the construction crew will be finishing up on the interior of the arena.