The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) has broken ground on an expansion to an arena on its campus.
The Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin (OHOW) Centre is a 16,000ft² expansion of the Klotsche Centre and Pavilion.
It is intended to meet the growing needs of the university’s basketball programmes for men and women.
The project is estimated to cost a total of $8m.
The OHOW Centre is located on the east side of the Pavilion and will be connected by a skywalk over the existing driveway, allowing access to the Pavilion parking structure.
The expansion project received a $2.1m donation from the OHOW Centre, as well as $7m in student segregated fees collected over a period of nine years.
UWM athletics director Amanda Braun said: “The new facility is well worth the wait.
“It will strengthen the basketball programmes, benefit all students and create another selling point for UWM.”
UWM deputy athletics director Cathy Rossi said: “This is a game changer for student-athletes and students.
“Facilities like this are becoming the norm in Division I college athletics.”
UWM said that the centre will reduce competition for space within the Klotsche Centre for the university’s Division I athletics programmes, intramural leagues and individual students.
The building will feature a full-sized basketball court, a basketball strength and conditioning centre, a video room, an auxiliary sports medicine and treatment centre and a basketball student-athlete lounge.
UWM women basketball head coach Kyle Rechlicz said: “The Orthopaedic Hospital of Wisconsin Centre fosters cross-team bonding and supports the players as both students and athletes.”
The UWM Athletics Department expects the OHOW Centre to open next year.
The centre is one of several renovations planned to be carried out at the campus this year.
They include renovations to the Northwest Quadrant and the UWM Student Union, as well as the construction of a chemistry building.