The University of Mississippi has broken ground on the new campus basketball arena, The Pavilion at Ole Miss.
The $85m arena will spread across an area of approximately 230,000ft² and will have the capacity to seat 9,600 people and will be used for public exhibits, concerts and sporting events.
University athletics director Ross Bjork said: "We have seen the construction fence, the dirt being taken out and the parking garage up, but you have to celebrate a milestone like this.
"Today was about the ceremony and the reality, but it was also bringing the Ole Miss community together and having our student-athletes see it first-hand."
Los Angeles-based AECOM has been selected for architectural design, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, acoustic design and cost consulting works of the new basketball arena, whereas Alabama-based BL Harbert International is constructing the arena.
AECOM sports director Jon Niemuth said: "The arena design features an intimate seating bowl for great student interaction and fan experience.
"We’re excited to create a venue that embraces the campus community and creates an environment for top-level competitive athletics."
Amenities at the arena include locker room suites for players and coaching staff, training facility, a courtside club, a food court, all-American suites and the arena club.
Construction work on the arena is expected to be completed by December 2015.
Image: The University of Mississippi chancellor Dan Jones and other officials at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new basketball arena. Photo: courtesy of The University of Mississippi.