By Celeste Walters & Lauren McMillen
Student athletes at Alderson Broaddus University are in a frenzy as they scatter across Barbour County to find a practice place to call home.
On January 16, 2020 Alderson Broaddus University Board of Trustees made the decision to shut down the Rex E. Pyles Arena and Memorial Coliseum for a structural repair and upgrade project. Athletic staff offices were relocated to Paul Jones and all athletic events set to take place in the Coliseum were moved off site.
March Westin Company Inc., the contracting company hired by AB to reconstruct the Coliseum, set up barriers around the Coliseum to ensure no one would enter the premises or try to sneak in and began working last January.
Students arrived on campus with hope that construction would be done and activities in the Coliseum could resume. However, according to Athletic Director, Carrie Bodkins, although the building was shut down in January, actual physical construction of the Coliseum did not take place until five months later around mid-July.
“There were a lot of different engineering things that had to take place first,” Bodkins said. “There were things that were happening, they were just behind the scenes.”
The Coliseum is being constructed in two different phases: the first phase is pure maintenance with no renovations. This initial phase makes it possible for staff and athletes to reside in the building again; participation in athletics resumes, offices are used, locker rooms are occupied and training takes place again.
Phase two will occur over a three to five-year period that would incorporate some different renovations. Bodkins along with the rest of the Board of Trustees are talking through some of the possible renovations right now but nothing is set in stone.
“We will have a redo of the basketball court that will take place in the spring / summer,” Bodkins said.
With the transition from the Great Midwestern Conference to the Mountain East Conference it will be more of a rebrand rather than a renovation.
If everything goes according to plan the Coliseum will reopen this weekend.