N.C. State has turned Reynolds Coliseum into a modern museum.
The soaring open spaces and high-tech gizmos in the Walk of Fame and History will knock your socks off.
But the first thing anyone who has ever been to a basketball game at the “Old Barn” will notice is the air-conditioning. Yep, it’s cold in Reynolds in the summer. Such a luxury. When the structure first opened in 1949, it wasn’t feasible.
But after a $35 million upgrade, there are all kinds of new possibilities for N.C. State’s on-campus basketball arena.
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“I’m proud that we were able to modernize the building while we also tried to maintain our favorite parts of the original Reynolds,” N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow said.
The building has a completely new feel with the front third of the space occupied by the Walk of Fame. Yow initiated the N.C. State athletic hall of fame in 2012 and the renovated Reynolds gives the hall of fame a home.
There are interactive touch-screen displays with information on N.C. State’s greatest teams and athletes, from David Thompson to Kay Yow to Torry Holt to Julie Shea.
The old noise meter from Reynolds’ heyday is in the Walk of Fame, too, complete with a sound clip from legendary public address announcer C.A. Dillon.
The first thing anyone who has ever been to a basketball game at the “Old Barn” will notice is the air-conditioning. Yep, it’s cold in Reynolds in the summer. Such a luxury.
There are artifact displays on the first and second levels. The entrance, with its original marble flooring, hasn’t changed, but the rest of the building has.
The old narrow downstairs hallways are gone and the space is opened up. The upstairs level features a timeline of All-Americans on the outside walls and display cases of all sports on the inside walls.
The women’s basketball and volleyball teams have new offices on the second level.
The basketball court was pushed to the south end zone with a new scoreboard over the court and LED lighting around the court. The seats in the upper deck are the familiar wooden red ones, but the ones on the lower level around the court are new.
The grainy pictures of Everett Case cutting down the nets after an ACC championship – Reynolds was the home of the ACC tournament from 1954 until 1966 – were not necessarily a function of the times. The Old Barn was dark and had deep sight lines but is now bright and will hold a cozy 5,500 fans for basketball.
N.C. State’s men’s team will have its “Primetime with the Pack” there on Oct. 21 and play a Heritage game against Tennessee State on Dec. 10. Reynolds was the home of the men’s team for 50 years, until 1999.
The women’s basketball team, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling were displaced last year during construction. Those programs have a new, upgraded home after 16 months of construction.
The volleyball team will play the first contest in the building on Friday at 11 a.m. against Delaware.
“We are glad we made it on time and on budget,” said deputy AD for internal operations Michael Lipitz, who oversaw the renovation project.
Fans will have a chance to see the completed project for themselves on Sept. 16 for the hall of fame induction and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The Walk of Fame will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for visitors.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio