- Associated Press - Saturday, January 31, 2015

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (AP) - University of Southern Mississippi officials have unveiled renovation plans for Reed Green Coliseum, the school’s basketball arena which has largely gone unchanged since it opened in 1965.

Athletic director Bill McGillis says the project likely would cost up to $45 million. He says how it would be funded, as well as a timetable for the project and its completion, have not been determined.

McGillis wants a multi-purpose facility that can better serve the region’s needs.

“I think people in our community recognize that the coliseum, while located on campus, is a community asset - more so probably than a university asset. That’s why, to me, it’s not about when we want to go forward (with the project), because it’s going to be a determination by a lot of folks,” McGillis said.

The arena currently has a capacity of about 8,000. McGillis says that number would drop to somewhere between 6,600 and 7,000 depending on the renovations.

The coliseum is used for basketball and volleyball. It also is used for graduations. In the past, it has served an entertainment venue.

An architectural shows an updated façade, a new box office, a revamped, all-chair back seating arrangement, a new center-hung scoreboard, a new practice facility, upgraded concession areas and restrooms and a new club seating option.

“We get very few concerts here,” McGillis said. “We get very few family shows, very few large-scale events. It’s because the coliseum can’t serve those events. “We play basketball in the coliseum 15 to 20 times a year. That’s 300-plus more opportunities a year to host events.”

There is also a plan to add a basketball and volleyball practice facility that will provide direct access to the arena. It would be located at the south end of the coliseum.

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