New events building OK’d

A new multipurpose space has been approved for construction next to the BankUnited Center, planned for the start of the fall semester.

The Basketball Fieldhouse Practice Facility will accommodate 1,000 people and will be used for events that are too large for Storer Auditorium and Gusman Concert Hall, but not large enough for the BUC, Vice President of Student Affairs Patricia A. Whitely said.

Whitely also said that the new building, which will be located immediately west of the BUC next to the Hurricane 100 room, will be used for orientation, career fairs, speakers, comedy shows and basketball practices.

The department’s original plan for the project was only to build a new venue for the basketball teams’ practices; however, this plan was eventually changed to include other events as well, President Donna E. Shalala said during a Student Government meeting.

Janet Gavarrete, associate vice president of Campus Planning and Development, and Joe Folino, associate vice president for Facilities Design and Construction, are heading the project, which is planned to take eight months of construction, said officials from the Planning, Design and Construction Department.

Mateu Architecture, the company building the facility, will begin a construction schedule next month after the company gets a permit, said Mateu Architecture representative Russell Dover, who is the project manager for the BFPF.

“It will be a supplement to the BUC,” Shalala said. “I already have some speakers in mind.”

Caitlin Herman may be contacted at

BFPF Stats

 Size: 29,797 square ft.
 Will house two regulation size basketball courts with multiple practice baskets, a multipurpose space of approximately 7,000 square ft., and storage areas and restrooms that will be accessible from the Hurricane 100 Room at the BankUnited Center.
 Will accommodate different events such as career fairs, comedy shows, orientation, guest speakers and pre-function activities for graduation.
 Construction planned to take eight months.

-Compiled from information from the Planning, Design and Construction Department.