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Hinkle Fieldhouse Renovations In Bloom

Photos By J.T. Cocherell
@XLevelOnline

 

Chris Fultz
ISR Butler Beat Writer
@CafultzISR

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – While students at Butler University prepare for finals and the end of their spring semester, a new chapter is beginning to bloom right before their eyes. With completed renovations to the outside of the building included tuck-pointing of 282,000 bricks and replacement of 9,734 windows with energy-efficient glass, the eviscerating of historic Hinkle Fieldhouse is well underway.

After a rough inaugural season in the BIG EAST, fans will be fervent to see the exciting new renovations to the inside of their beloved 85-year-old gymnasium.

The old familiar halfcourt scoreboard has already been taken down. Taking its places will be a scoreboard twice the size with video capabilities, giving more reasons for Bulldog fans to cheer, boo and potentially lead to immediate roof renovations. According to Associate Athletic Director Ken LaRose, the athletics department would like to use the video capabilities to show other games, statistics and highlights in the future, as well as a fan cam to show the different faces of the fans of Butler athletics.

While the addition of a new scoreboard will help bring Hinkle Fieldhouse into the “modern era”, no other renovation will be more comforting than the update in seating. 5,000 chairbacks, more handicapped seating behind the baskets and upstairs areas, handrails and new bathrooms are all planned to be added to the fan experience.

While capacity will be about 9,100, less than the current 10,000 but more than previous estimates, concession stand lines will be shorter with the addition of more concession locations.

Not only will Hinkle be more comforting, it will also feel more welcoming with renovations in the concourses and lobby areas, which will grow in size and decorated with picture collages. The museum piece that is currently in the West Gym will greet fans at the front door. The Athletic Hall of Fame will be moved to the back.

“The donors will see a new enlarged hospitality area (the Wildman Room). The Wildman Room will be totally redone and three times as large. It will be new and modern.” LaRose said.

Most importantly for long time Butler Bulldog faithful, Hinkle Fieldhouse will remain easily recognized from the inside as much as the outside.

“We want them to feel the same mystery and the same atmosphere that Hinkle has had for so long,” said Butler Athletic director Barry Collier.

The historic rafters will continue to show as well as iconic windows up in the corner that have shined down on all-time greats from former UCLA head coach John Wooden, to Oscar Robertson and his high school team Crispus Attucks and, of course, the Milan High School “Hoosiers.”

Chris Fultz is the Butler Athletics beat writer for the Indy Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.

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