In the center of only two city blocks, Portland State University hopes a brand new athletic facility will be a new niche.
"We've designed it so it can do all sorts of different things,” said Alex Accetta, the Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Affairs.
Following months of construction, the university is preparing to debut the brand new $52 million facility, known as the Viking Pavilion at the Peter Stott Center.
University officials said philanthropy programs, and not tuition dollars, were used to fund the project.
"The previous building had been here for 50 years,” Accetta said. “And as our university has grown we really realized that we need to kind of get into the big leagues.”
The Pavilion houses renovated administrative athletic offices and facilities, including renovated weight rooms and locker rooms.
In addition, Portland State Athletics has a new home inside a newly constructed arena, which will host Vikings Basketball and Volleyball games.
"We're leaving a gym-type format for us as a program, and we're going to have an arena,” said Head Basketball Coach Barret Perry.
The arena is designed to accommodate upwards of 3,500 people for events and about 3,000 fans for games, the university said.
It’s a change Coach Perry said is a swish into success.
"For the investment to be made into our programs, to have something like this in the future and what we can recruit to, and what it means to our teams and our programs, it's a game changer,” Perry said.
Athletics are not the only game plan for the new court: a long list of events are already scheduled, too – including graduations, music artists and trade shows.
It’s all part of what the university described as a part of a plan to market the space as a unique “mid-size” type of convention center. Residents in the South Park Blocks area will have a particular interest in programming, the school said it hopes.
"The demographics of our campus has changed,” Accetta said. “We have a lot more students who live on campus now, and a lot more students who want to be part of the university, and they've never had an opportunity to go to a big concert here."
Perhaps most symbolic of the new facility is a specially designed entrance that is topped with carefully crafted wood, making a nod to the shape of a Viking ship.
The first private event is scheduled at the Pavilion this week. A grand opening celebration is scheduled for Monday, April 9.
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