“We are trying to catch up with other NCAA facilities,” said Patrick Mucker, project manager for facility planning and construction. “We want to create a better experience for our patrons.”
The renovations will get fans closer to the game, Mucker said. The new building will also be more energy efficient and share a food court with the football stadium.
Construction crews are working to lower the court floor so steeper seating and an expanded courtside seating arrangement can be installed, he said.
“The DMC was built in a circular fashion and modern basketball facilities are typically rectangular to provide better sight lines,” Mucker said. “This [seating renovation] will provide a more intimate atmosphere, and a louder playing environment.”
The renovations include plans for the continued use of chilled water plants to cool the building rather than stand-alone air conditioning units. The switch is more energy efficient and will meet the “green building” requirements for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
“There are three chilled water facilities on campus with this facility being serviced by a Worth Hills plant,” Mucker said. “This is going to be a very energy conscious and efficient building.”
With a larger footprint than the previous structure, the concourses will be widened and redesigned with new amenities, including two large food courts with tables and chairs, Mucker said.
“There will be a glass wall — a neat feature where guests can come into the food court during a game and oversee the practice fields,” Mucker said.
Mucker also said the redesign takes advantage of the close proximity to the football stadium.
“There will be a large food court overlooking the stadium [and] will be used during football games and basketball games,” Mucker said. “It’s a real benefit that our athletic-complex buildings are so close that they can share the facilities for events.”
In addition, a “Hall of Honor” will be built at the entrance of the coliseum to showcase the history of TCU’s athletic achievements.
“It’s hard to describe how large it’s going to feel, but it will swallow up much of the front area,” Mucker said. “It will be a modern museum for athletes and awards and will feature the Rose Bowl trophy and the Heisman trophy.”
Lastly, the parking lot in front of the coliseum will be transformed into a landscaped green space, Mucker said.
“The area between DMC and Stadium Drive will be similar to the Kelly Center lawn,” Mucker said. “It will provide flexible space for events or areas for students to hang-out or study.”
The coliseum is expected to be completed in time for the start of the 2015 basketball season.