MACOMB, Ill. (WGEM) -- It has been a busy and productive summer in the Athletic Department on the campus of Western Illinois University.
Students, athletes, and fans alike have a lot to look forward to, including a new look at Western Hall.
The final touches were recently completed to a brand new floor, which will officially be dedicated during the upcoming basketball season, named LeRoy A. Ufkes Court.
Ufkes, a 1996 Hall of Fame Inductee at Western, along with his wife Joan, made a generous donation to help fund the project.
WIU Athletic Director Tommy Bell tells WGEM Sports it'll provide a boost to the school in more ways than one.
"It helps draw student-athletes but it also helps draw students in general," Bell expressed.
"The famous Macomb Holiday Tournament is here, and in this day and age you need to have the upgraded amenities for fan comfort. People want those things, they want more butt space in the seats and they want more leg room for their knees and so those are the things we look at."
Bell says that hope is that the new court is only the start of renovations at Western Hall, where the University will now begin to look at upgrading seats and the area surrounding the floor.
First year men's head coach Billy Wright says that these investments put toward Leatherneck basketball is a great step toward building a program both right now and in the future.
"I think it's a statement from the administration and the support in the community that we want to make men's basketball a priority for our fans and most importantly for our recruits," he said.
"It just shows that there's a consistent effort year in and year out to invest in our program and that's what we want. That's all we ask for is to invest in our program and give us an opportunity to compete in the recruiting battles in our region and I think this is a step in the right direction."
LeRoy A. Ufkes Court is the first installation of a new floor at Western Hall since the early 1990's.
The construction doesn't stop there in Macomb, where right now crews are in the process of getting things in place for a brand new scoreboard at Hanson Field, which is due to be complete in the next few weeks in plenty of time for the start of football season.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WGEM. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Kathy Woodworth at 217-228-6617. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at email@example.com.