Renovations at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum Extend Into Fall
Dramatic LED lighting improvements, basketball floor resurfacing, and work on the upper bleachers are all part of the $2.7 million renovation project at Mississippi College’s A.E. Wood Coliseum.
Upgrading the facility’s interior and exterior will extend into the Fall semester at the MC Choctaws hoops arena, school officials announced Thursday.
Dedicated in 1977, the 3,500-seat facility remains one of the most visible landmarks on the Clinton campus. It gets extensive use for Blue & Gold basketball & volleyball games, graduations, concerts, summer camps and other special events.
Golden Dome renovations began in early May following spring commencement. But a blistering summer heat wave delayed the project’s initial completion date in August, MC leaders say.
“Extending the work is necessary due to the external temperature of the roof and its impact on proper caulking conditions,” said Steve Stanford, vice president for administration and government relations.
Project work will be suspended for a few days prior to the Christian university’s summer commencement on August 6. At ceremonies that Saturday morning, more than 200 students will be awarded diplomas.
There’s plenty on the building’s to-do list, including landscaping, caulking of external seams, repainting the coliseum floor, and cleaning of the facility’s external surfaces, Stanford said.
The A.E. Wood Coliseum houses offices for coaches, showers and dressing rooms for student-athletes, concession stands, the Quick Rebounders Room, training rooms, tables for announcers, and much more. The facility is easily spotted by thousands of motorists passing through Clinton along I-20.
With renovations going on in June and through late July, 6,800 MC summer campers from 13 states utilized other nearby facilities on campus since the coliseum was closed.
The 48,000-square foot coliseum received extensive roof damage due to storms bringing heavy showers and hail to Central Mississippi in 2013. The storm detached several pieces of the coliseum’s internal insulation, Stanford said. Other MC buildings endured significant roof damage that triggered repairs.
Visiting the Clinton campus for summer orientation, Lady Choctaws basketball players Zariah Matthews of Bogue Chitto, Kaitlyn Thompson of Cleveland, and Ieisha Lacey of Jackson all welcomed the coliseum improvements. The 18-year-old freshmen say they look forward to playing under Lady Choctaws head coach Paul Duke in the renovated arena starting this fall.
Other projects were happening at Mississippi College over the summer including improvements to the Whittington residence hall. Exterior painting, improvements to the HVAC system, cleaning coils, duct work and floor replacements were part of a job with a $350,000 budget.