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UCLA REPORT

Firms eye Pauley's renovation

December 01, 2007|Greg Johnson | Times Staff Writer

The long-discussed renovation of Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus took another step forward on Friday with the university inviting several architectural firms to discuss a planned $90-million to $110-million update of the aging facility.

Bruins Sports Information Director Marc Dellins confirmed that the Ellerbe Becket, NBBJ and Rossetti architectural firms have been placed on a short list of candidates that includes a joint proposal from architect Michael Hallmark and Nadel Architects.

Pauley Pavilion, which opened in 1965, has a rich heritage given its role as home court for the UCLA basketball, gymnastics and volleyball programs. But the building lacks comfortable, close-to-the-action seats, big-screen television monitors, luxury seating, modern concession stands and other amenities that universities increasingly rely upon to generate revenue.

Crosstown rival USC, for example, has spent about $130 million on its new Galen Center, with 10,258 seats that bring fans close to the court, easily accessible concessions stands, modern locker rooms and a state-of-the-art weight room.

Pauley Pavilion can accommodate more than 13,000 fans, but its courtside seats are relatively far from the court -- a design dictate handed down by former Bruins coach John Wooden, who had a strong say in the building's original floor plan.

The proposed renovation could include improved locker facilities for athletes, support facilities for athlete program personnel and premium seating or club facilities for fans. Much of the proposed renovation would occur in Pauley Pavilion's interior, but the university also is considering exterior modifications, including a possible new entry concourse. Seismic and fire-safety improvements also are being contemplated.

New seats could be added, existing seating could be rearranged and the arena's acoustics would be improved. In addition to close-in seating, UCLA also is considering state-of-the-art video replay technology that also could present in-game statistical information.

UCLA initially had worked with HOK Sport, a firm that specializes in athletic facilities. But in October, UCLA invited additional architectural firms with arena and stadium design expertise to submit proposals.

The firms announced on Friday have been invited to make presentations to UCLA in mid-December, but Dellins said that it is too early to say when the project might move forward.

"We don't really have an estimated timetable yet for the rest of the process," he said. "We'll have a better idea on that once we've met with the architects and picked one."

According to sources close to the UCLA Athletic Department, Athletic Director Dan Guerrero has commitments for about $45 million, or approximately half of what the proposed renovation would cost.

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Junior point guard Darren Collison, who played for the first time this season in Wednesday's win over George Washington, came through the game and a full practice Friday without suffering any ill effects on his sprained left knee, according to Coach Ben Howland.

Before Friday's practice, Howland had said that if "we have no issues here in the next couple of days," Collison would start Sunday when the second-ranked Bruins play host to eighth-ranked Texas. After Friday's practice, Howland said in a statement that Sunday's starting lineup would be a game-time decision. Collison came off the bench against George Washington.

Junior swingman Michael Roll, who has yet to play this season after rupturing his plantar fascia last month, went through a practice with contact Friday and felt fine, according to the UCLA statement. After practicing with contact last Tuesday for the first time since his injury, Roll had suffered soreness in his foot. His status for Sunday is still considered questionable.

Howland is eager for Roll to return to the lineup. "Michael definitely helps us because he stretches defenses with his ability to shoot," Howland said Friday.

Alfred Aboya, who fractured a bone under his right eye last Friday and who played with goggles against George Washington, practiced without pain Friday.

And UCLA basketball spokesman Ryan Finney said 39 scouts have requested seats for Sunday's sold-out game at Pauley -- 37 from the NBA, one from the National Basketball Development League and one international scout. According to Finney, 29 of 30 NBA teams will be represented.

Times staff writers Chris Foster and Diane Pucin contributed to this report.

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greg.johnson@latimes.com

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