- Associated Press - Friday, February 28, 2014

INSTITUTE, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia State University is opening its new convocation center.

A private, invitation-only dedication ceremony is set for Friday. The public will get its first chance to see the D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker Convocation Center on Saturday when the men’s and women’s basketball teams take the new court for the first time.

The lobby of the 1,350-seat arena will include a statue of former West Virginia State basketball standout Earl Lloyd, the first black player to play in an NBA game.

Construction on the $19 million project began in 2012. Along with the arena, it features renovated academic areas in Fleming Hall, which was built in 1941.

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