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Naples Daily News (Florida)

FORT MYERS - As Edison State College prepared to unveil its new Buccaneers logo during a Tuesday Board of Trustees meeting, athletic director Carl McAloose said the junior college will begin posting baseball and softball coaching positions in May.

The former Florida Gulf Coast University athletic director said the search for basketball coaches won't begin until "about a year from now" because he hopes to have the new arena in place - or at least well under way - before making those transitions.

Edison, which will soon go by Florida SouthWestern State College, will tip off sports in the fall of 2015 after a 17-year timeout.

The two-story, 108,000 square-foot arena will be located at the main entrance, and will cost around $20 million to complete. It will have chairback seating for 3,500 fans. Edison President Jeff Albritten said no state funds or bonds will be used for its construction.

McAloose said a "national firm" is working with Edison officials to come up with a fundraising plan, so he has yet to begin a full-court press on raising money for the arena.

"I'm chomping at the bit," McAloose said. "I can't wait to really get started."

The arena has yet to be named as Edison will sell the naming rights with a likely asking price of around $7 million.

The new arena will include three full-sized courts, four private suites, coaches and administrative offices, locker rooms, a concession stand, ticket office, a weight and fitness area, and a glass hospitality suite with seating for 100.

Edison's Louis Traina, the vice president for Institutional Advancement, called it "a fundraiser's dream" when the architectural designs were introduced to the Board of Trustees in February.

McAloose, who took over at Edison on Feb. 17 after an almost two-year stint at Clayton (Ga.) State, hopes the basketball and volleyball teams can use the new arena from the start. In order to do so, the school needs to score the naming rights or another large donation, McAloose said.

April 23, 2014
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