A $43-million facelift to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City is nearly complete. University of Iowa officials will hold a dedication ceremony at 4 p.m. today. The program is free and open to the public and will be followed by a tour of the renovated building.

 U-I associate athletic director Rick Klatt says plans to update the facility were first discussed around eight years ago as coaches struggled to find practice time.

“The real need to build a practice facility was obvious,” Klatt said. Nearly two dozen different sports programs share Carver-Hawkeye Arena for competitions and practices, including men’s and women’s basketball, wrestling and volleyball. A new multi-court practice facility is now attached to the arena, along with a larger strength and conditioning center. Klatt says fans who attend sporting events won’t see many of the major changes.

“We have added some club seats. We have cleaned, painted and put a new ceiling in. Other cosmetic changes – many are complete, some will be complete by basketball season,” Klatt said. “The majority of the renovation was concentrated on the use of the building when we aren’t staging events.”

The renovations also include a larger wrestling complex, wider concourses, additional restrooms and new offices. Klatt says improvements to Carver-Hawkeye Arena, which first opened in 1983, were needed to keep up with other schools in the Big Ten Conference. “The primary goal of the project was to improve the practice opportunities for our mens and womens basketball and volleyball teams,” Klatt said. “The rest of the project came around that; improving some office space needs, building a larger strength training space and building some entertainment space for game nights.”

More than $20 million in donations are helping cover the cost of the renovations. The rest of the project is being funded by U-of-I Athletics Department revenue. The University of Iowa completed an $89 million dollar renovation of Kinnick Stadium in 2006.

See more information here: www.carverhawkeyerevitalization.com/