I will get to other basketball notes in a bit. I wanted to started the day with a note on Pauley renovation. Stop me if I have heard this note before. A few weeks ago Menelaus gave us a depressing update on how we have essentially lost one year in Pauley's restoration. Apparently the bureaucrats at Morgan Center found themselves at the starting line all over again after they were not able to reconcile cost-estimation issues with an architecture firm - HOK Sport - they hired a year ago (spending $500,000 in the process) to get this project done.
After losing a year in this process, it looks like UCLA is starting all over again by hiring a new architecture firm NBBJ:
"The next stage of the project will yield valuable information about overall design and costs so that we can showcase the project to the entire UCLA community of donors, alumni, fans, and students. We continue to make great progress in the `quiet phase' of our fund-raising campaign and this step shows the overall commitment for this project."
"NBBJ is thrilled to have been selected as the architect for the redesign of UCLA's Pauley Pavilion," said Scott Hunter, a Senior Associate in NBBJ's Los Angeles office. "It is a significant project and we look forward to drawing upon our legacy in sports architecture and our past work with UCLA in bringing this project to fruition. It is an honor to be a part of such a notable project and we look forward to helping create the vision for a new future for Pauley Pavilion."
The pre-schematic design phase is expected to be an intense three-month process that will address several issues. NBBJ will document and design necessary revisions to the utility systems of Pauley Pavilion that will mesh with a building design concept that addresses: team programmatic requirements, patron circulation and safety issues, improved fan amenities, enhancing the entry sequence to Pauley and showcasing the great history of UCLA Athletics in general and basketball in particular.
Photo Credit: Markus von Gruenigen
Well, I am having a hard time not being concerned (and a little cynical) about what I have been reading re this project. At least reading from the outside, I am not sure whether UCLA administrators realize the importance of this project to UCLA basketball. The way they were not able to reconcile their differences with the previous architecture firm, I don't sense the requisite urgency among UCLA officials that is needed to get this done.
I hope they understand they cannot afford to lollygag around this project. They MUST get this done so that Coach Wooden is there when the first game is played in the refurbished Cathedral of college basketball, which he built. If UCLA doesn't get that done, it will be an unforgivable sin on the part of officials (and I am not just talking about officials from the athletic department) leading this entire university. We are looking at you Chancellor Block and, of course, Dan Guerrero.
Get this done guys. This is not a project you can afford to lollygag around.