Construction on the State Farm Center to begin

By Daily Illini Staff Report

A three-year renovation process of State Farm Center will begin with one of the four parking lots closing Wednesday, Associate Athletics Director Kent Brown said.

The renovations, which are scheduled in stages to avoid disrupting the men’s and women’s basketball seasons, will begin this winter as weather permits and will be going full force by early March, when the season ends, Brown said. No work will be done inside until after the season is completely over.

“At this point, the plan is to do this in phases so that men and women’s team can continue to play games at the State Farm Center during the renovations,” Brown said. “They will probably be doing some work (during the seasons), but nothing that will interrupt them.”

From Wednesday until these renovations are complete, the southeast parking lot, which was used in past years by i-Fund donors and parking pass holders, will be out of use.

To accommodate for the decrease in parking spaces, the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics will have to rely on parking in lot E-14 and parking lots at Research Park, Brown said.

“We don’t have any additional places,” he said. “We will make adjustments as we need to.”

All renovations are expected to be completed by the fall of 2016, Brown said.

The $160 million renovation was announced in March and will add state-of-the-art technology, premium seating and other amenities, such as air conditioning, to the arena.