HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Before a packed on-campus theater, High Point University President Dr. Nido Quebein announced the university will start a major project that will benefit the campus and the city of High Point.
"We believe colleges and universities play a major role economically and with quality of life in the regions they reside," Quebein said.
With that in mind, High Point University will build the $130 million Nido and Mariana Quebein Arena and Conference Center. A small hotel will also be attached to the facility. Guilford County Commissioner Carlvenna Foster believes the arena, conference center and hotel project is proof that there's new energy in High Point.
"With the City of High Point Catalyst project, this will be a bigger boost, drawing more visitors to our city," Foster said.
The complex will sit at the intersection of Lexington Avenue and University Parkway. Students like Teddy Dallam are excited that the 4,500 seat arena will be on campus.
"I always thought it would be off campus," Dallam said. "It's here on campus, so much easier now."
Next, High Point University will begin taking bids. Site work will begin this summer with a goal of starting venue construction in the fall.
High Point University student Ceili Lang feels the new arena will bring excitement to Panthers sports.
"I'm excited to have something as an alumni," Lang said. "Something to look back and follow because we don't have a big following for sports."
The basketball court will be named after High Point University graduates Tubby and Donna Smith. The Smiths donated $1 million to help fund the center's construction. Tubby Smith is also the new men's basketball coach.
The arena should be ready for the 2020 basketball season.