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Alico Arena expansion is moving forward

Florida Gulf Coast University has plans for Alico Arena renovations for the first time since 2002. According to a report in The News Press, fundraising efforts have started to upgrade the arena by the fall of 2016.

“When it comes to our facilities, we have some things we have to say it’s time for us to do it,” FGCU Athletic Director Ken Kavanaugh told the reporter. “And we have to do it when we’re in a frenzy where people are excited for our programs so we can maintain that level of success.”

Plans that are included in the upgrade include a modern video scoreboard and scorer’s table, a dedicated athletics’ weight room and enhanced sports medicine areas.

“Part of the area that will be used for renovations include where there is trees on the right side of Alico Arena,” said Jason MacBain, director of athletics communications at FGCU.

Although Germain Arena is a short distance from campus, when MacBain was asked if FGCU has considered the arena as an option for future games, he said that besides the upcoming women’s basketball holiday tournament this season there are no plans to use Germain Arena permanently for FGCU sporting events.

Susan Evans, vice president and chief of staff at FGCU, said that “there are plans that would involve some Alico Arena expansion and renovation, including for a dedicated weight room for athletics — but of course all of this is contingent on raising the necessary private funds to finance it.”

Chris Simoneau, vice president for university advancement, is in charge of FGCU’s fundraising campaign. This effort is not limited to athletics, but for the university as a whole. Simoneau said that on the night of Sept. 23, FGCU held a launch event for the university’s overall fundraising campaign in the Grandezza neighborhood and about 160 people showed up.

“Our goal is to raise $100 million by 2017, which will be the 20th anniversary of the opening of FGCU, and so far we have raised $50 million,” Simoneau said.

Although the campaign is not limited to athletics, the arena renovations are stirring at least some excitement from the FGCU student body.

“I’m excited for it because the athletes have space where they can dedicate time to their craft, without interference from the students” said Carlos Rincon, a junior exercise science major.

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