GAINESVILLE -- The O’Connell Center’s massive renovations will be put on hold.
Florida and the University Athletic Association announced Wednesday construction on the O’Dome will be delayed one year.
The UAA cited the $60 million project’s “aggressive schedule, escalating costs associated with the rehabilitation project and a change in the construction management team” as reasons for the postponement.
The renovation was scheduled to begin in early March, immediately after the conclusion of the men’s basketball season.
“We remain 100 percent committed to this project,” UF athletics director Jeremy Foley said in a release.
“The $60 million that we have already earmarked for the project is indicative of this commitment.”
Although UF has “earmarked” the funds, the UAA has yet to raise (via private donors) the estimated $60 million.
A new construction manager has been hired and a budget and timeline are expected “in the next couple months.” The current design plays are roughly 60 percent complete, with a new entrance, renovated concession stands, club seating and chair backs already included.
“The renovation proposal is a major renewal of one of our campus’s most iconic buildings. It’s incumbent on us to take the time and do it right,” UF president Kent Fuchs said.
Florida’s basketball team was not scheduled to play its non-conference games during the 2015-16 season in the O'Dome, planning a barnstorming tour across the state.
Now, UF will play all its home games in the O’Dome and any other changes to events “generally held in the O’Connell Center will be made once information is confirmed.”
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