(Sonya Johnson)

By Adam Turner

The Brief:

“Does Alumni Coliseum have the world’s largest wooden ceiling?”  

                

The Facts:

Serving as one of the main buildings on campus, Alumni Coliseum does indeed sport a very big ceiling. The building’s construction was a momentous and, at times, catastophic occasion. The roof collapsed early on in its creation, injuring two employees and setting back progress considerably. When the opening ceremony finally came, however, former President Lyndon B. Johnson broke first ground for the Coliseum. The ceiling utilized 626,276 board feet of lumber, forming the 170 beams and roof decking, stretching over 308 feet. Its southern pine is elevated 81 feet above floor level and, at the time of its construction, was in fact the world’s largest roof of its kind. However, according to current building supervisor Dan McBride, Alumni Coliseum no longer holds that title. Still, it remains an impressive feat and a testament to the University.