The central hub of Lewis And Clark Athletics and de facto home of the Trailblazers, the Riverbend Arena on the Godfrey campus, is getting a bit of a face-lift this semester. Not just to be enjoyed by student-athletes and athletic staff, the renovations will also be apparent to students attending classes in the Exercise Science classroom and dental clinic, or those just wanting to chill out in Riverbend Arena’s future second floor student lounge.
In an exchange of emails, Lewis And Clark Administration Vice President Lori Artis provided all the pertinent details. The renovation will encompass the entirety of the Riverbend Arena building. A new gym floor installed and finished before Trailblazer volleyball practice started in August highlights the renovations, and will be on display for all who attend a volleyball or basketball game.
Outside of the gym itself, the rest of Riverbend Arena will start to take a different shape as renovations continue. The building is sporting a fresh roof and an upgraded gutter system, HVAC upgrades, waterproofing measures, electrical improvements, and interior renovations that will be apparent to all who visit Riverbend Arena. Speaking as a humble college paper sports writer, the improved HVAC system will hopefully mean the basketball months are a bit warmer in the RBA.
When the first floor upgrades are finished in August, students will notice the coaching staff offices will have been moved up to the second floor. Joining those offices on the new and improved second floor will be a new student lounge. Administration VP Lori Artis notes “[the new lounge will be] for students who frequent Riverbend Arena for classes in the dental clinic, classes in the Exercise Science classroom, student-athletes, and anyone looking for a quiet place to study or hang out on campus.”
The decision to renovate the entirety of the arena was made official at a Lewis and Clark Board of Trustees meeting this past January. The overall estimated budget sits at just about $2.9 million, coming from Protection, Health, and Life Safety funds and Capital Project Funds.