POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - After nearly two years of renovations, Idaho State University's Holt Arena is ready. ISU President Kevin Satterlee unveiled the changes to the public Thursday afternoon.
In addition to the renovations to the north side of the stadium and the President's Deck completed last year, the university has put in new turf, new seating, and new roofing.
The $14 million project was funded by Idaho Central Credit Union.
Satterlee said the new and improved stadium will be something the community can be proud of.
"This is the largest single gathering place of people in this entire part of the state," Satterlee said. "Holt Arena is way it is weaved into the fabric of this community in this region.
"We think back of all the events that have occurred in there, all of the memories, all of the times that are part of the university and part of our community, the agricultural trade shows the things that move our economy forward."
In addition to the major face-lift to the stadium, ISU has also built new resources for student athletes.
On the south side of Holt Arena rests the new athlete lounge and film room, where student athletes can study or prepare for big games.
Athletic Director Pauline Thiros added the new facility will not only be a great asset for the community, but also bring a new level of experience to the student-athletes.
"The quality of the spaces on your campus say a lot to students about how much you care about their experience and what you're willing to invest in it," Thiros said. "When student athletes walk in and they see an impressive arena that's clean, that's branded with their spirit marks, with their Bengal head, with the same thing that they're going to wear across their chest as Bengals, it's powerful, it's compelling.
"It's a great reason to come to an institution when they invest in their student athletes, in this manner...Recruits do notice that the place they're going to be spending so much time in for the next four or five years of their life is a quality space built by people who care about them."
After dedicating 25 years to higher education at ISU, Satterlee says he hopes what he's achieved in the Alumni Center and Holt Arena will symbolize the steps he took as a leader during his tenure.
"When we opened and dedicated a facility like the alumni center, and rededicated a facility like Holt," Satterlee said. "We get this level of interest in the community and the public, that's really important to us.
"But we've done the same thing by renovating our classroom spaces, by renovating our student study spaces suite. We did $5 million of renovation into our residence halls. We have spent the last five years reinvesting in ourselves because when we invest in ourselves to become the best version of ourselves, it shows and it shows to our students."
The Bengals' first game in the new and improved stadium will be Saturday at 4:00 p.m., when ISU faces off against North Iowa.