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January 2002

Release Date: January 15, 2002

Dedication Ceremonies Set Thursday for Junell Center/Stephens Arena

The newly opened, $21 million Junell Center/Stephens Arena will be dedicated Thursday, Jan. 17, with a ceremony attracting guests from throughout the state and with Angelo State University Rambelle and Ram basketball games against archrival Texas A&M-Kingsville.

The games are the first since the return of the ASU student body for the spring semester so officials are anticipating a big crowd for the games and activities. The dedication will also provide the first opportunity for the general public to see some areas of the new facility.

Dedication activities will begin Thursday with a 5 p.m. tip-off when the Rambelles take on the Javelinas from Texas A&M-Kingsville. Reserved seat tickets for the dedication ceremony and two games cost $6 each. General admission will be free Thursday night. In addition to parking in the lot west of the Junell Center/Stephens Arena, overflow parking will be available at Colts Stadium.

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 ASU President James 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. game between the Rams and the Javelinas in the evening's concluding event. The public tours will take guests through the Sports Medicine Center, the locker rooms for volleyball and football, the upper and lower weight rooms and the office suite for men's and women's athletics.

Students living in ASU residence halls will be especially noticeable during the dedication because of T-shirts provided by several local businesses. Some 1,650 "Gold Rush" T-shirts are being distributed to the residence halls this week and will make their public debut at the dedication. The "Gold Rush" promotional was spearheaded by Town & Country Food Stores with support from Wells Fargo Bank, San Angelo National Bank, First American Bank, 1st Community Federal Credit Union, Foster Communications, San Angelo Standard-Times, Webb, Stokes & Sparks, Cactus Hotel, Chilton & Wilcox, Shannon Medical and Concho Educators Federal Credit Union.

"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 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.

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