Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Contract to Build DePaul/McPier Arena Approved; Construction Could Begin in Spring 2015

Sketch inside the new DePaul/McPier Arena (via Sun Times)
On Monday we posted about cost projections for the DePaul/McPier Arena soaring to a rumored $250 million.  After some compromises and changes to the design, cost estimates are lower than that number but still slightly higher than originally projected (via Sun Times):
Total cost of the arena portion of the project — $164 million — had gone up about 17 percent since it was first proposed in early 2012, Reilly said. 
Despite the increased cost, the 10,000-seat arena project will remain a 50-50 partnership with DePaul University. The university issued a statement on Tuesday reaffirming its commitment, saying, “DePaul has built or extensively renovated more than a dozen buildings during the last 15 years, and is quite familiar with the process of adjusting budgets or design plans as actual construction costs become known. We remain committed to the larger project and look forward to helping create a building of which the city can be proud, and doing it as cost-effectively as possible.” 
To stay within budget, the arena's design was altered to put the basketball court at ground level; originally, the plan had been to put the main floor of the arena below grade level. Besides DePaul basketball games, the arena will host concerts, amateur sports and other events. 
The groundbreaking could take place in April or May, Reilly said. Construction is expected to take about two years, meaning it would open in 2017, which would be too late for the originally planned 2016-2017 basketball season.
There are also some new renderings of the design.  Beyond the picture above you can see the floor plan below and some other ariel shots:

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