USI Shows Off New Basketball Arena

There is a big empty pit in the heart of campus at the University of Southern Indiana, but students and coaches wouldn’t have it any other way.

There’s some 4,300 seats and a new home for Screaming Eagle sports on the way. The school’s new extension on the Physical Activities Center is scheduled to open in a little more than a year.

USI released a digital tour video, flying around the outside and onto the court Thursday afternoon. Head coach of the women’s basketball team, Rick Stein saw the video and looks forward to moving in.

“It’s going to be the nicest in the country in Division II level,” he says, “if there’s something better I want somebody to show it to me, I haven’t seen it yet.”

The Screaming Eagles know what it’s like to be the best. The banners hanging in the PAC are a testament to that. In a state-of-the-art arena, they expect nothing less than the best.

Stein says it is going to take the program to “another level” and will fit in with all the other changes happening on campus.

As afternoon classes started to fill in Thursday, Justin Hollers was walking past the construction site. “I’m excited to see what it turns out to be,” he laughs. “I’m just a Freshman so I don’t know too much about it.”

There are plenty ready to show off their school pride. “Seems like they’re really investing money into campus,” Paul Ippoliti says, “which goes back to the students and that’s pretty cool.”

It’s a $66 million project, adding 200,000 square feet on the existing PAC. A second phase of renovations is planned for the old building in spring 2019. The school plans to add a new swimming pool and classrooms for sports science programs.

Construction on the arena is expected to finish in the fall next year.

“The building starts to shake because they’re knocking down old walls and starting to build new ones,” says Stein, “it’s exciting times.”

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