- Associated Press - Thursday, December 18, 2014

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Work on a second phase of renovations to the University of Wyoming Arena-Auditorium is set to begin in March.

The new work will complete some $30 million in improvements to the 32-year-old building. The first phase of the project was completed this year and involved changes to the seating and floor in the arena, which is the venue for UW men’s and women’s basketball.

An addition to the east side of the auditorium should be the most notable change of the next round of improvements, said Larry Blake, director of facilities planning at UW.

A new entrance at the northwest corner of the building is also on the agenda, along with limited improvements to concession stands and restrooms in the concourse area. Hamburgers should also be on concession menus if a commissary area with grills is added.

A hall of fame featuring a large statue of Kenny Sailors should be integrated into the project, showcasing UW basketball’s past accomplishments, Blake said.

An area similar to the Wildcatter Stadium Club in War Memorial Stadium could be built underneath some of the seating tiers. A secondary entrance set for construction should allow easier access to the club.

“It will definitely improve fan experience in the arena,” Blake told the Laramie Boomerang (https://bit.ly/13fX73v).

Construction is set to start after UW men’s and women’s basketball teams have finished postseason training. The construction is anticipated to take around 16 months, Blake said, with a rough completion date in October 2016.

“The addition is expected to take some time,” he said.

Pathways in and out of the stadium should be made to keep fans safe, Blake said, but construction is set to continue through basketball season, mainly in the east concourse areas. These plans are currently in the preliminary stages of planning and could be delayed, Blake said.

In addition, UW should now install sprinkler systems throughout the stadium, particularly in the concourse, before Oct. 1.

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, https://www.laramieboomerang.com

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