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January 2002

Release Date: January 8, 2002

Inaugural Events Scheduled for Junell Center/Stephens Arena

A new era of opportunity will begin at Angelo State University Thursday, Jan. 10, when the Junell Center/Stephens Arena opens with its inaugural Rambelle and Ram basketball games against Southwestern Oklahoma University.

The games will provide the general public with their first view of the new $21 million facility that will be home to ASU men's and women's athletic programs and a showcase for the university's basketball and volleyball teams. Additionally, the facility will open up a variety of opportunities for community events, including major concerts, conventions, business meetings and high school playoff games.

Although the facility will open publicly on Thursday, the formal dedication is planned a week later on Jan. 17 during games against Texas A&M-Kingsville. The dedication was scheduled for the first home game after ASU students returned from the New Year's holiday so that they too would be able to participate in the festivities.

"We are excited to be opening up the Junell Center and Stephens Arena not only because of what it will mean to Angelo State University but also because of the opportunities it will provide San Angelo and West Texas," said ASU President James Hindman. "This is a premium multipurpose facility that will serve a variety of needs and will provide a venue for numerous cultural, educational, athletic and entertainment opportunities for both the university and community."

The inaugural game in Stephens Arena will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday when the Rambelles host Southwestern Oklahoma. A Rams basketball game, also against Southwestern Oklahoma, will follow at 8 p.m. The Rambelles and Rams will also play games Saturday, Jan. 12, against Cameron University, in the Junell Center/Stephens Arena.

Dedication activities on Jan. 17 will begin with a 5 p.m. tip-off when the Rambelles take on the Javelinas from Texas A&M-Kingsville.

After the conclusion of the women's game at approximately 7:15 p.m., the formal dedication ceremony will begin. The program will include a welcome and introduction by Hindman as well as remarks by ASU Student Body President Andrew Ruiz; Dionicio "Don" Flores, chair, Board of Regents, Texas State University System; F.L. "Steve" and Pollyanna Stephens, namesakes for the arena; and State Rep. Robert "Rob" Junell on behalf of the Junell family. Following the ceremony, visitors will be able to take tours of the building before a scheduled 8:30 p.m. tip-off when the Rams take on the Javelinas in the evening's concluding event.

Reserved seat tickets for the evening of the dedication ceremony cost $6 each. General admission will be free for the night of the dedication only. In addition to parking in the lot west of the Junell Center/Stephens Arena, overflow parking will be available at Colts Stadium for the dedication.

The Junell Center/Stephens Arena encompasses 135,000-square-feet of floor space. Stephens Arena itself has 5,500 fixed seats and can accommodate up to 6,400 with additional floor seating for concerts and other events utilizing a stage.

Stephens Arena has two scoreboards. The west scoreboard includes a 9x12 foot video screen that will feature live action from the event as well as messages and promos for upcoming events. The state-of-the-art video and sound system will be managed from two control rooms on the facility's third level and will be operated by ASU communication students.

A formal lounge with a glass partition overlooking the arena from the west end will be available for meetings, dinners, receptions and other gatherings associated with events in the facility. Behind the scenes are the support facilities, including a caterer's kitchen, dressing rooms and waiting areas for speakers and performers, storage rooms and offices.

South of Stephens Arena is the portion of the Junell Center devoted to Ram and Rambelle Athletics. The first level of this section includes an auxiliary gym for team practice and other activities. When Stephens Arena is booked with other activities, ASU basketball and volleyball teams can still practice on a hardwood court.

The first level also includes dressing rooms for all men's and women's athletic teams as well as a sports medicine area with offices for the trainers, a treatment and taping area, a hydrotherapy room and a rehabilitation room. These quarters will provide state-of-the-art facilities for ASU's Athletic Training Program.

On the south end of the facility is a split-level weight training facility overlooking the ASU track stadium. The lower level will include the heavy weight machines while the upper level will hold lighter weight equipment so two groups or teams can work out at once. All the weight equipment is state-of-the art. These rooms are available for all ASU students, faculty, staff and support group members.

The second level of the Athletic Department section includes office areas for both athletic directors and coaches. The main entry into the office suites will lead to offices for the men's and women's athletic directors as well as the sports information office, conference room, work room and reception area.

The coaching offices will include quarters for all men's and women's head and assistant coaches as well as an office for the compliance/academic coordinator. Support facilities will include a workroom, state-of-the-art video room, conference room, work area for student workers and a reception area. Also, the second level has a large classroom that can be partitioned into four individual classrooms, depending upon specific needs.