IU's Assembly Hall getting $40 million upgrade - WDRB 41 Louisville News

IU's Assembly Hall getting $40 million upgrade

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WDRB) -- In Bloomington, basketball is king -- but the palace is starting to show its age after 42 years.

Thursday, the university's president announced that Indiana University's Assembly Hall is getting an upgrade.

Cindy Simon Skjodt of Simon Properties has given $40 million to the school for improvement. Soon, it will be renamed to Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

"It brings me great pride to offer this gift to IU, not just for my children but future children, too. I strongly believe if you love this university, you should give back to this university," Skjodt said.

Skjodt is an IU alumnus and the daughter of Mel Simon, who purchased the Indiana Pacers with his brother and current owner Herb Simon in 1983.

Skjodt's family owns the Simon Properties real estate company.

"Assembly Hall is often imitated, never duplicated and it will be here forever. That is what it needed to be," said IU men's basketball coach Tom Crean.

Most of the renovations will focus on the lobby, which will include a grand entry way and escalators replacing the ramps. Other improvements include renovated bathrooms, new air conditioning and heating and a new video scoreboard.

But the seating will not change, and that has drawn criticism from fans who have often complained about the view in the rafters.

"What she just did is preserve the legacy of a national treasure. That is exactly what Assembly Hall is," Coach Crean said.

No indoor basketball venue has more seating on both sides of the court than Assembly Hall.

It's time to renovate the palace, and now it will bear the name of the person responsible.

"It's always a great day to be a Hoosier, but this is a particularly great day to be a Hoosier," Coach Crean said.

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