Final steel beam installed at new USI arena

Local

USI’s new PAC Arena won’t be ready for several more months, but a major construction phase is completed.

The final steel beam on the arena’s northern side was installed this morning, in front of dozens of Screaming Eagle fans.

It’s one piece of a 90,000 square foot puzzle, but it’s a piece Screaming Eagle fans enjoyed seeing put in place.

“I was so excited. So excited to see it going up. It represents history in the making,” says Pamela Hopson, Executive Director of the Multicultural Center at USI.

“I thought it was really awesome. They do it really fast,” adds Stephanie Yurks, a graduate assistant at USI, who was excited to watch it go up, and excited to see what the finished product looks like just in time for her graduation next spring.

“I’ve lived in Evansville my whole life, I used to go to summer camp at USI when I was tiny, so seeing the PAC growing to what it is right now is kind of amazing,” said Yurks.

The beam was signed by the university’s students and teachers.

“I believe there wasn’t much room left on the beam,” says USI Athletic Director Jon Mark Hall.

It marks the end to steel work. Project managers say attention now moves to finishing the roof, walls, and interior. Once built, it will house basketball and volleyball teams, plus a new human performance lab. Hll says it symbolizes the building’s progress.

“It’s a symbol of this building’s moving along and making progress,” he said. Hall also says bad weather from this past winter and spring led to 30 lost work days, but he hopes it will be ready by next January or February.

“I’m looking forward to all the kinds of events that may be hosted in the new PAC arena,” Hopson says.

“To really see them bring it back up to a new phase shows how much USI is still growing and has so much room to grow,” adds Yurks.

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(This story was originally published July 20, 2018)

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