Oatman: Basketball facility nearly complete

After several years of planning and almost a year of construction, the long-awaited adjunct basketball practice facility is almost complete.

Kim Oatman, chief facilities officer of Facilties Management, said the majority of the work left on the $4.2 million, 18,000-square-foot addition to the CFSB Center primarily concerns outside site work.

“(The facility) will be complete in a matter of weeks, pending weather,” Oatman said.

Pinnacle Inc., out of Benton, Ky., was the construction company that built the facility, and Hastings & Chivetta Architects, Inc. of St. Louis, Mo., was the hired architect firm.

Oatman said the construction managed to stay on budget but fell slightly behind schedule when the crews encountered massive unanticipated chunks of concrete while they were digging.

Construction was a little behind schedule due to some unforseen issues – issues like buried concrete,” he said. “These pieces of concrete had to be broken up and transported off site.”

Original estimates had placed construction complete by late January.

Oatman said the finished product will look much like it does now except with better lawn and landscaping and will be equipped with a regulation court, offices, conference rooms and support spaces for the men’s and women’s basketball programs.

Allen Ward, director of athletics, said the completion of the new practice facility will alleviate issues with the basketball teams not having unlimited access to the court in the CFSB Center.

“Thanks to a lot of hard work by the Murray State Facilities Management Team, our architect, Hastings & Chivetta, and general contractor, Pinnacle Inc., we were able to locate the new building where there is both locker room and training room access from the court area,” Ward said.

He said it will make it convenient for the coaches and players and give them 24/7 access to the areas they use daily.

“Although the CFSB Center staff is very good to work with, there are a number of times throughout the year when the main court isn’t available for practice,” he said. “Therefore, it was our goal during the capital campaign to name the former RSEC and direct those funds to address a very pressing need.”

The majority of the new practice facilities budget came from the initial $3.3 million donated by the Community Financial Services Bank.

CFSB bought the naming rights to the events center in September of 2011, prior to purchase it was known as the RSEC.

The other portion of the money raised for the new facility’s budget came from private donors who were honored through the naming of the various aspects of the facility in early November.

The men’ and women’s head coach’s office suites, which will be located inside the new building, will be named the Suiter Family Head Coach’s Suite, currently located underneath the Roy Stewart Stadium.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were able to utilize the new practice court the past few weeks.

The courts were named after donors Bill and Irene Morgan.

Oatman said the easternmost portion of the facility is being set aside for the new home of the Hall of Fame and will be finished in the future, its completion not hindering the use of the buildings faculties.

Currently, the Hall of Fame resides beneath Roy Stewart Stadium in the Racer Room. Its relocation will give it more visibility and make it more easily accessible to students and the public, he said.

Story by Ben Manhanke, Staff writer.