Board gives fundraising for new event center green light

Leah Fleischel and Hannah Smith

Related: RMU Event Center Update


As of Monday, the RMU Board of Trustees has approved the plans to fund raise approximately $50 million to build a new event center.

“As we pursue donations for this building…we’re not going to be getting money that would have gone elsewhere,” said senior director of public relations Jonathan Potts.  “We’re going to be seeking donors who really solely want to support athletics and who solely want to support a new arena, so it’s not going to conflict with any other university priorities.”

Potts said the new arena is planned to be built where the lower Sewall parking lot is currently and the entrance will be moved a few feet from where is is now. Plans do not include decreasing parking, but building more, which will likely be around the area to fit the needs of the arena.

This projected 4000-4500 seat arena will be the new home to the RMU basketball and volleyball teams. The arena will also include new concessions, a pro shop, a VIP suite, and will be able to hold concerts, along with other outside events.

Once the new event center is built, the Sewall Center Arena will be turned into a recreational center for students, replacing the space in John Jay. Robert Morris then plans on renovating John Jay to create more classrooms and laboratories for the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Sciences.

“It’s going to be a great addition for the community we think. It’s going to attract other events that currently don’t take place here…it’s going to be very eye-catching and I think it’s going to really kind of cement our identity on University Boulevard and in Moon Township,” said Potts.


RMU Sentry Media has received word from university officials that the RMU Board of Trustees approved plans to raise funds for a new event center yesterday.

The board also approved to include designs and some initial site preparation.

Construction will begin after funds are raised, and the building is anticipated to open in Fall of 2018.

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