By EVAN NICHOLS
Eastern unveiled the new floor of McBrayer Arena early in August, which cost approximately $450,000. This came in continuation with a project that began last year in Alumni Coliseum.
The project featured a new video board and sound system. Last year’s renovations totaled to nearly $1,000,000. Students should still sleep easy at night knowing that the cost of these renovations will hold no effect on the existing price of admission to sporting events. Students will still only need to bring their valid EKU student I.D. to the event and admission is free.
A few of the noteworthy renovations over the summer included a new court, LED lighting, new basketball goals and energy efficient air returns. Alumni Coliseum still used the same court and air returns that were installed during 1963.
The new court, known as a Connor Floor, is made of grade one maple and was installed by Kiefer USA. The new floors will ultimately offer better traction to athletes, cause less wear and tear on their knees and provide more spring for athletes. S
o far, the volleyball team has gotten the most use out of the new court.
“You can see the give to the floor that in the past you couldn’t seem,” head volleyball coach Lori Duncan said. “When you’re talking about that, you’re talking about the (impact) joints and that will be much better for the student athletes.”
Coach Duncan said she has already witnessed in a short time how the new floor will ease the grind on her athletes.
As far as the new lighting, Eastern is now one of less than 10 schools nationwide to feature the new indoor LED lighting system.
Dan McBride, Associate Director of Athletics at Eastern, oversaw the entire project. Mcrbide said his favorite aspect of the new arena is the “simple and classic look that it brings.” McBride discussed the urgency to keep the momentum running off of last year’s men’s basketball NCAA tournament appearance.
When asked about how the newly renovated McBrayer Arena would honor the old court and the 50 years that were spent on it, McBride said graphics are being added to the walls to celebrate Eastern and a piece of the old floor was kept and will be presented in the concourse to celebrate Alumni Coliseum and McBrayer Arena’s history.