The first phase of Hanner Fieldhouse renovations is projected to begin construction this summer after a couple of Georgia Southern University alumni made a donation toward the $5 million total campaign.
The first phase of renovations will include the Fair Road-facing entrance being expanded to fit a new space for the Athletics’ Hall of Fame, the relocation of concessions and expanded game-day ticket offices, according to a recent press release.
The auxiliary gyms located within Hanner will be changed into practice facilities for both the basketball and volleyball programs.
Although the first phase of renovations is projected to start this summer, more money is needed to follow through on the construction, Tom Kleinlein, director of athletics, said.
“We probably, in the next two to three, probably next two months, we need to raise close to $1.3 or $1.4 million,” Kleinlein said.
Kleinlein is confident that this goal will be reached.
“The total amount is $5 to $6 million, so we’ve got people involved at those levels, so obviously if they’re willing to get involved at those levels, just this first phase is a percentage of that,” Kleinlein said. “So if we can raise the whole amount here in the next six months, then we’ll have enough money to start the first phase.”
The donors are Lynn and E.G. Meybohm from Augusta, Georgia, according to the press release. They both graduated from GS with bachelor’s degrees in education.
E.G. was a student athlete who played baseball and men’s basketball, and is now the first GS alumnus to receive the University System of Georgia Board of Regents’ Hall of Fame Alumni and Friends Award, according to the press release.
“The tremendous success and growth of our men’s basketball program have drawn national attention that has increased the pride of our alumni and strengthened their connections to the University,” E.G. said. “Lynn and I have been supporters and Eagle fans for decades, which makes the opportunity to make this kind of impact on a student-athlete’s experience even more special.”
The Meybohms are choosing not to disclose the monetary amount of their donation, Kleinlein said.
“Lynn and E.G.’s leadership and vision for Hanner will not only impact athletics’ programming but the University as a whole,” Kleinlein said in the press release. “Renovations like this just don’t happen. It is through the support of our alumni and community that we are able to continue to provide the best experiences for our student-athletes, students, community members and campus guests.”
Kleinlein said that he believes that the Hanner renovations will increase revenue and ticket sales.
“Well I think, as an athletic director, anytime you have a program as successful as our men’s basketball program and our volleyball program and things that we are trying to do in athletics, facilities become the thing that attract people to your program,” Kleinlein said. “People want to play in nice places. Fans want to come and sit and not only watch the game, but be entertained and enjoy food and beverage and that kind of stuff.”
Elizabeth Gross, The George-Anne News Reporter, firstname.lastname@example.org