North Dakota State’s largest construction project is edging closer to completion.
The Sanford Health Athletic Complex is scheduled to open in October. Construction started in April 2014.
Ryan Perreault, athletics communications director, said it will be open “in time for basketball in early November,” and they are hoping to phase in some of the staff over the summer and fall months as progress permits. The Nodak Mutual Basketball Performance Center is currently already in use by the NDSU basketball teams.
Scheels Center is the name of the new venue “which will seat about 5,700 for basketball and wrestling,” Perreault said.
Some of the most noticeable changes will be inside with expanded lobbies, additional restrooms, more concession stands and a new upper concourse overlooking the area with seating all around the court, NDSU athletics reported. The west side addition of the SHAC will house strength training, sports medicine and rehabilitation areas.
Temporary heat is keeping crews comfortable inside the facility and crews have connected the new upper concourse of the south, east and north sides.
Concrete is also being poured on parts of the arena floor. In the west half of the SHAC walls and ceilings have been painted in the new weight rooms. Block walls continue to be built around team locker rooms.
The second floor is getting a “facelift” and offices for staff, administration and coaches have been framed and sheetrock is going up.
The former weight room and racquetball court spaces have been turned into offices and are being painted. The metal frame for the new ticket window in the south lobby has been framed and the former pool area has been turned into a student athlete lounge, athletics reported.
About 3,000 yards of sand has been used to fill in the hole left by the former pool. The roof has recently covered the south and west additions to the building.
The SHAC’s future entrance will be completed when the roofers start to insulate the entrance after the steel is place.
There is one other big addition behind-the-scenes for student-athletes.
“We are excited for a new academic advising and study area” for student athletes who currently are using the ACE facilities, Perreault said.
Another new feature are “fueling stations” that will be in the weight room and “can provide additional nutrition options for student-athletes to grab-and-go after a workout,” Perreault said.
The first floor is still seeing work done as masons continue to build block walls for the new first floor restrooms and columns for the new upper concourse that will surround the arena.
The glass wall on the east side expansion has been installed and is allowing passersby on University Drive to get a glimpse inside the building.
Construction should be completed in time for the basketball season in November.