Those who have been in the current JMU Convocation Center, know firsthand how outdated various aspects of the facilities are. The multipurpose arena first opened in 1982 with a capacity of 6,426 individuals. The arena is not only the site for men’s and women’s basketball, but also hosts concerts, JMU’s commencement along with local high school commencements, and conventions. Updates have occurred since its opening in ‘82, including: a new graphic design on the floor (2013); new scoreboards (2007); and new bleachers (2012); however, even with all of the recent updates, the facility itself is not fully capable of enhancing its crowds experience with luxuries and comfort.
The new Convocation Center is part of a larger plan referred to as “The Madison Plan”. The Madison Plan encompasses multiple different projects around James Madison University with a projected completion by 2026 to modernize the campus amenities. Along with increasing the seating arena to 8,600 people, a four-sided jumbotron, wraparound ribbon board, private suites, and student lounge will all be added features to the Convo.
The total cost of this project is $88 million. Currently, the University has a fundraising goal of $12 million which must be met before the project can proceed. Due to the contingency of finances, there is no formal timeline established yet.
This is part of an on going blog series on JMU's development, to see the other developments, click here.