When ideas concerning a new arena began to circulate at OSU, the focus was to build off-campus; given the condition of the old arena, it seemed to be a logical solution. After much deliberation, the architects emerged with the concept of expanding and saving the original building. The arena was a centerpiece of campus life; moving it off-campus could have fragmented CO FIRMRosser International, Inc.COST PER SQ FT$97.39FEATURED IN2002 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYPhysical-Education Facilities/Recreation Centers activities and reduced access.
The plan was to design an athletic center that served the university’s goals and aspirations. A comprehensive plan was created that would improve facilities to serve all collegiate sports. In addition to expanding the Gallagher-Iba Arena seating bowl from 6,318 seats to 13,611 seats, improvements included a strength and conditioning area, sports medicine, football and basketball lockers, a wrestling complex, an academic center and a coach’s office with team meeting rooms.
Among the additions to improve fan amenities: elevators and escalators at the entrances, new concession areas and restrooms, and skyboxes, which were designed to provide viewing of basketball and football. The enclosed walkway between the old arena and the coaches’ offices became Heritage Hall, a place to display a history of OSU tradition. The renovated facility maintains the historical character of its architecture and home-court advantage of crowd noise.