The race is on at PNC Arena.
The Carolina Hurricanes will have a different look to their locker-room area in September, with the weight room and exercise area expanded with the removal of walls and the coaches' offices moved to a new location.
Construction began Monday. The plan: have the project completed in 12 weeks.
"The goal is to have it done before the players report back for (training) camp," said Jeff Merritt, executive director of the Centennial Authority, the arena landlord.
"I'm not a construction guy but I'm hopeful they won't find any surprises and slow it down ... but construction projects are always full of something that you don't know."
The authority approved expenditures of up to $300,000 for the project, Merritt said. And it was an expedited project — something the Hurricanes, team owner Tom Dundon, general manager Don Waddell and coach Rod Brind'Amour wanted.
Waddell, the Canes president and general manager, approached the authority on June 6 with the request, Merritt said. A special meeting of the authority board was called July 3 and the project funding approved.
"They understood it was a last-minute, out-of-protocol kind of thing," Merritt said. "I think given that there's a new ownership here that's eager to do big, bold things, I think the board was willing to make some exceptions to our normal process. ... It was a fast turnaround."
The Hurricanes had asked that a new scoreboard, 3D projection system and theatrical lighting be in place for the 2018-19 season. The authority approved funding for the 3D system and lighting, but installation of a scoreboard was pushed back to the 2019-20 season because of structural changes that must first be made.
The Hurricanes typically begin preseason training camp in mid-September. The plan is for the project to be completed by Sept 11.
The Canes' weight room is fairly small by most major-league standards and a separate exercise room with stationary bikes is cramped and not well-lit.
"We're looking forward to it," Waddell said. "It's going to make the room, by removing those walls, feel a lot bigger."