Haas Pavilion Scheduled to Open This August
By Julia Sommer, Public Affairs
Haas Pavilion -- the grand, $48 million reconstruction of Harmon Gym under way for two years -- is due to open Aug. 17, just in time for fall semester, according to project manager Michael Raven of Planning, Design and Construction.
Seating capacity of the arena will increase from 6,000 to 12,100, thus qualifying it as a site for NCAA basketball tournaments. Ceiling height will be raised by 50 percent, to almost 100 feet.
The building's 250,000 square feet, superimposed on about a third of the original WPA structure, will also include classrooms, offices for coaches and staff, locker rooms and training areas.
"Pride of the pavilion will be new, state-of-the art entertainment and communication features that will allow live TV broadcasts from the court," says Raven.
General contractor for the project is Morse Diesel International Inc. of San Francisco, which has built several arenas.
Lead donor to the project is the Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund. The Pavilion is named in honor of Walter A. Haas Jr., who died in 1995.
Other major donors are Ned and Carol Spieker and Brian and Jennifer Maxwell. The plaza in front of the historic east entrance will be renamed Spieker Plaza.
Donors will be feted at the pavilion Sept. 17 and 18 and the public will be invited to a rally there during Reunion Weekend, Sept. 24 to 26.
Raven, a senior architect at PD&C since 1991, calls Haas Pavilion, "the most challenging assignment of my 29-year career. The scale is so impressive."