Fieldhouse gets a facelift: $25 million project will update Hinkle’s infrastructure, facilities

Plans for $25 million in renovations to Hinkle Fieldhouse are in the works, including updates to infrastructure, the arena and student-athlete facilities.

“Because the structure was built in 1928 for a different day and age, it’s lacking many needed updates,” said Tom Crowley, associate athletic director for operations.

The plans include renovations to the infrastructure, making the upper levels more handicap accessible with an elevator and remodeling the pool area so it can be used as a work area for the athletic teams.

Mechanical, electrical and telecommunication capabilities will be updated to support the added renovations.

“For years, there have been infrastructure issues and to address those you have to address the whole building,” Senior Project Manager Craig Hardee said.

Hardee said the renovations will be done in phases, but the first major project will be the pool area.

It will be converted into three levels, which will house locker rooms, administrative offices and a large team room for athletes and coaches to utilize for team meetings.

“When the facility was built, Butler only had three athletic teams.  Now we have nine men’s teams and nine women’s teams that we need to accommodate,”  Crowley said.

In the fieldhouse, chair backs will be added to the middle row of seating, and a jumbotron with video capabilities and electronic signage will be installed.

Restrooms and concession areas will be moved and renovated.

$1.5 million to $1.75 million of exterior repairs, such as replacing windows, are also planned but officials have to be careful  to keep the building’s integrity intact.

“Because Hinkle is a historic landmark, there are many guidelines and restrictions on what can be done to the exterior of the building,” Hardee said.

Fundraising is ongoing, and renovations will begin once enough money is raised, Crowley said.

“In the last three to four years, we’ve invested a lot in updating our athletic facilities, and this is just the next step,” Crowley said.

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