(FOX40.COM) — An event center at Sacramento State is soon to be a reality.
Funding for the event center, which is expected to be built at the popular gym facility The Well, was approved by board members on Tuesday and is expected to be completed and begin hosting events during the fall 2024 semester.
The venue is slated to serve as the home for the Sac State men’s and women’s basketball, women’s volleyball and gymnastics teams. The event center is also expected to host concerts and guest speakers.
The planned site will include the addition of scoreboards, video boards, new lighting and a public address system.
Not only will the event center provide a space for the university’s athletic teams, the existing four courts on the planned site will continue to host recreational and intramural sports.
The courts will lose their recreational use when seating is rolled out to accommodate crowds for NCAA events. Seating for the planned venue is not yet determined.
The Board of Directors for the Union WELL Inc., a nonprofit organization that oversees Sac State’s University Union and The Well fitness center, unanimously approved $5.2 million in funding for the project.
According to the university, that funding is expected to cover the initial cost of the project. The university is expected to pay for the project design, which is estimated to cost $300,000.
“The (Union WELL) board’s decision demonstrates that we are on the rise,” Sac State president Luke Wood said in a press release. “Sacramento State is the only public university in the capital of the state with the fifth-largest economy in the world, and we are acting like it.”
“I’m grateful that the Union WELL board supported our vision to position our University to better support student intercollegiate athletics, club sports, and recreation sports, and arts and culture,” Wood continued.
In a letter to the Associated Students organization, the university’s student governing body, Wood said the plan is to build expandable seating in The Well’s large basketball court.
On Nov. 9, Associated Students passed a resolution favoring the project following the president’s letter.
Sac State sent a letter to students saying it doesn’t expect construction to interrupt any activities at the health and fitness facility during the spring 2024 semester. The university also told students funding for the project won’t come from any tuition increases.
Since 2004, students have been paying for The Well out of their tuition after students approved a fee to build the wellness center along with a planned event center. Due to rising construction costs, The Well didn’t come with the planned center initially.
The university’s basketball, volleyball and gymnastic teams have hosted events at a smaller indoor facility known as “The Nest.” The 1,012-seat venue is one the oldest facilities among NCAA Division I institutions, being built in 1955.
Sac State athletic director Mark Orr said the approved funding is a “significant step toward achieving the goal of having a new events center on campus.”
“We are grateful for the vision of President Wood and to collaborate with terrific campus partners in ASI and the Union WELL,” Orr said in a statement. “This venue will not only benefit Hornet student-athletes, it will provide a space for all students to come together as a community and engage in events that will enhance their college experience.”
The university said it’s partnering with Otto Construction and LPAS Architecture + Design for the design and construction of the facility.