Work on the Hinkle Fieldhouse exterior is still being done, but the Hinkle Campaign is preparing to move into its public phase, signaling a shift in focus for the renovation project.
At Tuesday’s Faculty Senate meeting, President Jim Danko said the campaign will begin to fundraise publicly on Nov. 6 and will continue to do so until the end of 2013.
In addition to the funds Butler has already received in the silent phase of the campaign, Danko said the university is hoping to raise $16 million.
“We feel confident we can raise that money,” Danko said. “We kind of have to weigh ‘How does this balance across the university?’”
Bill Lynch, associate athletic director for development, said the Hinkle Campaign has been in its silent phase since late 2010.
With the help of donations from Butler alumni and corporate partners—in addition to the Save America’s Treasures Grant given to the university by United States National Park Service—the exterior renovation to Hinkle was able to begin last May.
Lynch said the athletics department will reach out to members of the Butler community and the school’s corporate partners with mass mailings and social media when the public part of the campaign begins.
Those who want to donate to the campaign will be able to do so online, via check or through a pledge over multiple years.
“We’re going to make it easy for people,” Lynch said. “(They can donate) however it’s most convenient for them, however they want to do it.”
The interior work will be broken up into two phases: student-athlete experience and fan experience. Turner Construction Company is managing the work.
Senior Project Manager Craig Hardee said the student-athlete phase of the project will likely begin in April. The fan experience portion of the project would start prior to the 2013-14 basketball season and conclude before the 2014-15 season.
“We’re trying to work on none of the teams losing their seasons in the building,” Hardee said.
The work done during the student-athlete experience phase will range from updates of Hinkle’s utilities to a “comprehensive demolition” of the natatorium, said Richard Michal, executive director of facilities.
Alterations to Hinkle’s utilities, which have been taking place during exterior renovation, include work on telecommunications, water, sewer, electricity and aspects of building safety.
“If we’re looking to make the investment we’re going to make, we feel it’s urgent to make those upgrades to meet current codes and address deficiencies,” Hardee said.
The natatorium consists of the west gym and the old, unused pool in the barrel of the fieldhouse.
A new weight room, updated training facilities, an academic excellence center and new administrative offices would be built in place of the natatorium.
Michal said the university is also looking to open up the south concourse and redo the men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball locker rooms.
Additionally, Hardee said Butler plans to certify Hinkle with LEED Silver status by installing low-flow water fixtures and energy-efficient lighting.
The main aspect of the fan experience phase involves putting chairback seats in place of bleacher benches in the seating sections just below the running track.
Hardee said the fieldhouse will lose seats because the chairback seats are larger than bleacher spaces, and larger risers will be needed to meet the chairback codes.
Other changes relating to fan experience will include new restrooms, new signage, a new scoreboard, a new concession stand and improved handicap access around Hinkle.
An elevator will provide those with physical disabilities easier access to the fieldhouse’s upper-level seating.
“Everything we’ll be doing will be made to address accessibility deficiencies in the building,” Hardee said.
Despite the planned changes creating potential construction until 2015, more work could be considered with appropriate resources, Hardee said.
“There are some things we’re not going to be able to do based on time and funding,” he said. “Once a decision is made, it impacts other decisions.”
Even if Danko’s goal of $16 million for the campaign is reached prior to the conclusion of 2013, Lynch said Butler would continue to raise funds until then.
“Certainly, if we have great success in raising dollars in the campaign we’ll continue to do that, because there’s so much work that really needs to be done with this building,” Lynch said.
Being a home to Butler basketball since 1928 and a host to National Basketball Association and high school basketball and presidential speakers, Lynch said the athletics department hopes anyone who can donate to the campaign will do so.
“If we don’t do the renovation and preserve it, this building is going to be a thing of the past,” Lynch said. “That’s why we think it’s a great thing to jump on board and contribute to.”