Hec Ed Closes for Renovations; Practice Facility May Go Behind Stadium
Fans and players said good-bye to the original interior of Hec Edmundson
Pavilion on March 6, as the UW closed its fieldhouse after the UW-WSU men's
basketball game for an 18-month, $39 million renovation.
A new superstructure will replace support columns inside the upper seating
area, eliminating obstructed views that have bothered fans for 70 years.
Capacity will grow to about 10,000 and there will be new locker rooms and
meeting areas. The renovated space will open in November 2000.
An artist's rendering of the interior of the new Hec
Ed shows an unobstructed view from every seat in the enlarged auditorium.
Image courtesy ICA.
For the 1999-2000 season, the men's basketball team will play in KeyArena
at the Seattle Center. The women's basketball team will play in the Mercer
Arena also at the Seattle Center. Gymnastics and volleyball contests will
be held in the Pavilion Addition.
During the ceremonies closing the pavilion, UW officials opened a time
capsule placed in its cornerstone in 1927. The contents were underwhelming:
one copy of a 1927 Seattle Times and UW Daily, a list of Hec
Ed building committee members, a student handbook and a dime. Sports Information
Director Jim Daves promises that the contents of a new time capsule placed
into the cornerstone during the renovation will be more representative of
Funds for the renovation come from a variety of sources, including about
$10 million in University building funds to cover seismic work, funds from
a season-ticket surcharge and donations to the Campaign
for the Student-Athlete, which has already surpassed its original, $36
million goal with 12 months left in the campaign.
"The reception from fans and alumni has been overwhelming,"
says Athletics Associate Director Gary Barta, who heads the fund-raising
effort. The department plans to raise its goal before the campaign concludes
on June 30, 2000. "We know we have to raise more than $40 million,"
Rendering of indoor practice facility that may go between
the Nordstrom Tennis Center and Lake Washington.
Another project financed in part by the campaign is a $22 million indoor
practice facility. The building would be about 80 feet high and 150 yards
long, holding about 95,000 square feet. The original site was north of the
IMA Building parallel to Montlake Boulevard, but the City-University Community
Advisory Committee objected to the size and bulk of the building, fearing
that it would create a "canyon" or "tunnel" effect.
After careful consideration, the UW moved the preferred site to a practice
field east of the Nordstrom Tennis Center.
While some detractors have labeled the facility a "football place,"
it actually will serve 23 sports, says Assistant Athletic Director Chip
Lydum. "It will have a four-lane indoor track, the only indoor track
in the city," he notes. Its size enables the men's baseball team and
women's softball team to practice at the same time. Students will be able
to use the facility for flag-football and soccer games, Lydum added. "We
may be able to open it to community use as well," he says.
"What some people don't understand is that Hec Ed was our original
indoor practice facility. It had a dirt floor, and in 1927, that's where
the men's baseball team and football team practiced out of the rain,"
he says. Because of its renovation, Hec Ed can no longer serve that purpose.
"This is the same concept," he explains.
The UW plans to start construction in June 2000, a one-year delay from
the original timeline.
View the Progress
on the Hec Ed Renovation