Sunday I had asked a question about the schedule on Crisler Center renovations. This question has been answered: a number of the exterior walls have already been ripped out, with the bottom of the upper seats and the concourses visible to the outside air.
UMhoops has some of the photos of the (link:) Crisler Center Construction.
Additional photos of the demolition and construction, taken yesterday, Monday Feb. 27, can be found at (Link:) Michigan Stadium Aerials.
I hadn't fully thought through the fact that the brick walls were not load bearing, and as such, could be removed and expanded outward. Seeing the photos, I can now visualize how stores or food vendors or restrooms (or the atrium, for that matter,) could be built outward from the concourse area, adding a lot of floor space to Crisler.
The renovations will result in an increase of 65,000 square feet. I have seen this figure previously, but never really had a good spatial idea of what that meant. This increase is the same as a football field plus 13% more. Here's a picture to help you visualize:
That is a HUGE increase, and will vastly change the experience at Crisler.
I had wondered why they were pressing to begin already, since this precludes the team from using Crisler for practice through the NCAA tournament. However, looking at the pictures, I can see why they wanted to begin. The new construction, especially of the atrium entrance at the northeast, is pretty extensive. Even if they are still finishing things off inside through August and September and even October, they would want to have the exterior walls completed by mid-August, to avoid construction vehicles and fencing when the football season starts.
With the completion of the Crisler Renovations, Michigan's athletic campus may be better than any other in the world. The centerpiece, of course, is Michigan Stadium, with the new luxury boxes. But in addition to Michigan Stadium, we have:
- Crisler Center
- PDC for Men's & Women's Basketball
- Indoor Al Glick Football Facilities
- Yost for Hockey
- New Wilpon Baseball Complex
- Cliff Keen Arena, for Wrestling & Gymnastics
- Canham Natatorium
There are many more facilities, but almost all of these are fairly new, and yet very attractive. Several of the recent football recruits have commented on how they were very impressed by the Stadium. With the completion of Crisler next year, It is hard to think of any sport where our physical facilities are a liability. A lot of credit needs to go to Bill Martin, who had a vision for improving the physical plant at Michigan.