Troy approves funding for arena

Published 12:37 am Sunday, May 10, 2009

Troy University Board of Trustees today gave the go-ahead to issue up to $57 million in new debt through its Series 2009 Bond issue for three major construction projects on the Troy Campus.

The action came during the board’s regular meeting Friday and authorizes Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. to handle negotiations and financial arrangements on the construction of a new multi-purpose arena, a fraternity village and a new dining facility.

The multi-purpose arena is expected to seat between 5,000–6,000 spectators in a basketball setting with additional floor seating for major University events such as commencements, convocations and other large-scale events. That structure may also include a student recreation facility.

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The new dining hall will include seating for about 1,000 students and include about 40,000 square feet. The existing Stewart Dining Hall, by contrast, seats only about 400 students at a time.

The University’s Fraternity Village will replace outdated structures along Pell Avenue to house TROY’s growing men’s Greek organizations. As part of the project, seven fraternity houses will be built and leased by each fraternity.

Both the Fraternity Village and the new dining facility are expected to enter final design stages and undergo the bid process within the next three months, according to Mr. Jim Bookout, senior vice chancellor for finance and business affairs.

“We won’t know the specific amount of the bond issue until we get much closer to issuing the bonds, because we may also refund our current 2002 variable rate issue totaling $11.6 million, but this action allows us to move these vital projects closer to fruition,” Mr. Bookout said.

Although the anticipated bond issue would be guaranteed by traditional University revenue sources, much of the revenue needed for debt service has already been identified through other sources, Mr. Bookout said. In addition to funds provided by the bonds, private donations will also be used to help cover construction costs.

Committees are now reviewing plans for the Fraternity Village and the new dining facility, and University officials expect to begin advertising for architectural services on the new multi-purpose arena in the next few weeks.