UCLA Breaks Ground on Transformation of Pauley Pavilion
By Bruin Basketball Report
Signaling the start of the transformation of one of the nation's most famous athletic and student-use facilities, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block and UCLA Athletic Director Dan Guerrero today led the groundbreaking celebration for the renovation of Pauley Pavilion.
Hundreds of excited students, faculty, alumni and Bruin supporters gathered to witness the milestone event, cheering as Block, Guerrero, Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Janina Montero, student-athlete Anna Li, and Matt Pauley, grandson of the arena's namesake, Edwin Pauley, picked up blue and gold shovels to turn over a patch of ground on the east side of Pauley Pavilion.
"The next chapter in the illustrious history of Pauley Pavilion begins today," Block said. "This project ensures that the legacy of Pauley Pavilion will live on in the 21st century."
The groundbreaking on the 33-month construction project takes place exactly one year to the day after the official launch of the Campaign of Champions, the $100 million fundraising effort for the Pauley Pavilion project.
"We are extremely grateful for the groundswell of support from more than 600 donors who have rallied around this legendary arena," Guerrero said. "Their gifts and pledges of more than $65 million have enabled us to begin construction and make the dream of a revitalized Pauley Pavilion a reality. But we have not yet reached our goal and invite Bruins everywhere to participate in the Campaign of Champions."
UCLA has partnered with the Los Angeles office of NBBJ, a leading global architecture and design firm, to transform Pauley Pavilion into a state-of-the-art, multi-purpose facility. The project will entail long overdue infrastructure and amenities improvements on the 1965 building, including major seismic and life-safety upgrades, improved seating access by evening out the steps and creating wider pedestrian concourses, modern locker rooms, and training facilities that UCLA's outstanding student-athletes deserve.
Matt Pauley, co-chair of the Campaign of Champions said, "I know that my grandfather would be very happy to see that this project preserves the most beloved and unique elements of Pauley Pavilion while creating new luster for the building with outstanding design and amenities. It also ensures that the fantastic tradition of Pauley Pavilion will be preserved for the next generation of the extended UCLA community."
Through a competitive bid process on construction, the cost of the project has been reduced from an original estimate of $185 million to $136 million. International construction company PCL, which has worked on major arena projects, including the Staples Center, Key Arena and the Air Canada Centre, will serve as the general contractor. PCL also has experience working on the UCLA campus as the general contractor for the Spieker Aquatics Center, the Life Sciences Building and the Northwest Campus Housing Project.
The $136 million project will be funded through a variety of sources: $100 million from private gifts; $21 million in long-term debt backed by the athletic department general operating budget; and $15 million from an existing annual fee paid by UCLA students to help fund earthquake and life-safety upgrades to student facilities.
When the transformed Pauley Pavilion opens its doors, the UCLA community will have a world-class experience that includes:
- Better home-court advantage, with an all-new seating bowl with better sightlines and viewing angles, as well as high-comfort, padded seats.
- The addition of new, retractable seats that will bring fan seating on the arena level closer to the action for all events.
- A digital scoreboard featuring high-definition video and instant replay, an enhanced sound system and a message ribbon board encircling the arena.
- A new Nell and John Wooden court.
- New subterranean building, with top-notch locker rooms, a much needed film room and a student-athlete lounge.
- New and more restrooms, as well as new concessions with expanded eating options.
- New aisle ways and handrails to help fans and disabled visitors reach their seats more safely and easily.
- Compliance with all current fire and safety codes.
- A new glass-enclosed exterior concourse for a grand entrance worthy of our great UCLA tradition.
- A new Pavilion Club.
The refurbished facility will be available for programming by the UCLA Department of Cultural and Recreational Affairs, which operates Pauley Pavilion for the benefit of the entire campus. For example, student intramural sports teams utilize Pauley Pavilion.
"It's amazing that we're able to use Pauley Pavilion for so many activities," said Tim Mullins, a student elected by peers to serve on the student government's Facilities Commission and a two-time chair of the John Wooden Center Board of Governors. "There aren't many universities where students can attend a basketball game one night and the next day play intramural sports in the same building, and later graduate during commencement ceremonies in Pauley Pavilion. It needs an upgrade so that future generations of students can benefit from it too."
The first phase of exterior construction began in April 2010. Following the conclusion of the 2010–11 basketball season, the arena will be closed for interior construction. The transformed Pauley Pavilion is scheduled to re-open in fall 2012.