UK Athletics Committee Approves Renovation of Memorial Coliseum
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Athletics Committee has endorsed the renovation of Memorial Coliseum, home of four University of Kentucky women’s sports teams, a host of numerous campus events and a place of honor for Kentuckians who have died in military service. The University Athletics Committee approved the recommendation Thursday afternoon, which is subject to approval by the University Board of Trustees on Friday.
The renovation will fully modernize a facility completed originally in 1950 and will expand the ability to host campus events such as guest speakers and seminars, the arts, step shows and student-led philanthropic events such as DanceBlue and Greek Sing.
From an athletics department standpoint, Memorial Coliseum includes the Center for Academic and Tutorial Services – first of its kind in the nation for athlete-focused academic enhancement — various support facilities and is home to four women’s athletics teams: the defending Southeastern Conference Tournament champion basketball team; the No. 11-ranked gymnastics team; the six-time defending SEC champion and 2020 NCAA champ volleyball squad; and the latest addition to the UK Athletics portfolio, STUNT, which advanced to the national tournament last year in its first season of existence.
The original 1950 building was a memorial to servicemen and women who died in World War II and also honors those who have fallen in the Korean War, Vietnam War and subsequent military service. The renovation project will include an upgraded memorial.
“I’m excited about the impact this will have on the entire campus and community, along with our athletics programs,” said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. “This is the largest single investment in women’s sports in our history and we are thrilled about the transformational effect for UK Athletics.”
The modernization will encompass all of the building interior and bring climate-control improvements; modern seating for campus, community and athletic events; systems-related upgrades such as life safety, security, lighting and sound; and improve the facility overall experience for the female student-athletes who represent Kentucky so well.
The current building has served the University for more than seven decades and the goal is to upgrade a facility that will move Wildcat Athletics forward for decades to come.
The construction process for the $82 million project is expected to begin in March. The plan is for the athletic competition areas to be ready for use in the fall of 2024, while additional areas are being completed. The teams affected will compete in the 2023-24 school year at sites that are in the process of being determined.
For more information, go to website https://ukathletics.com/memorial-coliseum-renovation/
Fans interested in contributing directly to the project can do so at this link. Interested contributors can also contact the K Fund at 859-257-6300.
About UK Athletics
UK Athletics is a leader in college sports, sponsoring 23 varsity sports teams (12 women’s teams plus the coed rifle team) and hundreds of student-athletes, competing for championships, ensuring their education and well-being, and providing opportunities for the present and future.