CMU Awaits events center; Donors Honored While Builders Overcome Complications

Central Michigan University’s highly anticipated events center is nearing completion – before its projected opening of the men’s basketball season against Temple University, Dec. 1.

The center will host all men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling, volleyball and gymnastics. All teams will benefit from Rose Arena’s expansion, and will easily utilize the additional space.

The new events center arena – to be called McGuirk Arena – will boast a new exterior, bright glazed glass entrance, a new 10,000 square-foot lobby, a comfort-focused arena seating 5,300 fans, a 12,000 square-foot practice facility and a student fitness center.

In addition to the large-scale changes, Central will gain a new wrestling practice facility, ticket office, concession area, portal entrances and, of course, the upper-level club lounge.

The ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 26, 2009 was followed by long days of labor led by almost 90 workers a day; now the project estimates about 65 workers on-site. After battling summer flooding problems, and significantly adding to the original budget of $21.5 million, Central has corrected all design flaws and paid all unanticipated construction costs.

The events center was completely funded by private donations and collections, many from local businesses and associates of the university. The McGuirk family was one of the project’s highest donors

Depending on the donation amount, donors may buy a spot for their name. Former Central Board of Trustees member, John Kulhavi, made a $1 million donation to the project. The basketball court inside of the arena will be named Kulhavi Court.

All media visits to the events center have been halted until its grand opening. For now, will end its routine visits to document construction progress.

CMU Project Manager Andy Reihl reminds Central of the work to be done following December’s grand opening. The SAC’s fitness expansion will begin after the center’s completion, but is anticipated to continue well into March of 2011.

Work has reached about 90% completion. Preparation will end with the installation of furniture and equipment, practice facility flooring, bathrooms and epoxy flooring throughout the facility.

Details are to be determined regarding naming of facility functions. Rights for many of the new center’s attractions remain available for purchase, including the entire center’s title, which is for sale for $5 million.