The University of Alabama cut the ribbon Wednesday on a first-of-its-kind $10 million arena built expressly for adapted athletics.
The Tuscaloosa News reports that the Stran-Hardin Arena, named for University of Alabama Adapted Athletic program founders Margaret Stran and Brent Hardin, features competition and team spaces for men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams. Locker rooms, training rooms, storage rooms and office space is included for the programs’ athletes and coaches.
The first wheelchair basketball games will be hosted in the arena later this month.
“It still blows my mind that the University of Alabama is the first school to have an arena like this,” Caitlin McDermott, a former player on the 2015 championship women’s wheelchair basketball team, told the Tuscaloosa News. “I really hope you all enjoy this as much as the staff and athletes here have come to enjoy it.”
The 27,036-square-foot facility was partially funded through the private gift of donors Mike and Kathy Mouron. University president Stuart Bell said that the facility was the result of the vision and support of the campus community.
“Big dreams like this require a great deal of vision,” Bell told the Tuscaloosa News. “They University of Alabama is great as we are because of the support of people who love our university and love our students.”