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Archive for Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spring now likely start date for construction of KU facility to house Naismith rules of basketball

September 25, 2013

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James Naismith's original rules of basketball won't have a home on the Kansas University campus quite as soon as once thought.

Kansas Athletics spokesman Jim Marchiony confirmed that a decision has been made to delay until spring the construction of the approximately $18 million center that will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse and house the rules. But Marchiony said the project is still very much on track to becoming a reality.

"We believe it will be another destination place for this campus," Marchiony said. "We think not just basketball fans but fans of history will want to visit this facility."

The facility, to be named the DeBruce Center, was announced in August 2012, and estimates called for construction to begin sometime in 2013. But as the Journal-World reported last month, Dale Seuferling, president of the Kansas University Endowment Association, said construction had been pushed back to 2014. University officials now are setting a general timeline of spring for construction to begin on the center, which will be located near the northeast corner of Allen Fieldhouse.

Marchiony said his understanding was that officials were still finalizing several design details, including a lighting plan that would adequately protect the basketball rules, an 1891 document that was bought for $4.3 million by KU alumnus David Booth in 2010. Marchiony said the exterior design of the proposed two-story building also is being tweaked to ensure that it is compatible with Allen Fieldhouse.

"We all want it to fit in nicely with what is here already," Marchiony said. "Considerable thought has been and will continue to be given to that."

Marchiony said another reason for pushing back the timetable is so that the grounds surrounding Allen Fieldhouse won't be under construction during the upcoming basketball season.

Marchiony said he didn't know a timeline for when the DeBruce Center may open to the public. Attempts to reach Seuferling on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

In August, Seuferling told the Journal-World that fundraising for the privately financed building was going well. He said $14 million of the $18 million already had been raised.

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