Just over one year ago, The Pavilion opened and ushered in a new era for Ole Miss athletics after spending 50 years in the Tad Smith Coliseum. Ever since the Pavilion was being constructed, the Ole Miss and Oxford communities speculated what would become of the former arena.
Director of Facilities Planning and University Architect Ian Banner has given an update on the future of the “Tad Pad.” While it will remain operational for the use of women’s volleyball during the renovation of the Gillom Center, the coliseum’s time on the Ole Miss campus will eventually come to an end.
“The University of Mississippi’s master plan sees the location of the building as a future outdoor space similar to The Circle,” Banner said. “It will be an architectural ordering device around which academic buildings will be placed. These plans are for the long-term — probably five to 10 years away.”
The decision to demolish the Tad Pad was the only reasonable conclusion after deliberating on the building’s ability to sustain operation in the coming years. Banner contributed the decision to the building’s aging infrastructure.
“The Tad Smith building has mechanical and electrical systems that are reaching the end of their useful life,” said Banner. “We only recommend removing buildings when we have exhausted all other options for re-use. Obviously, this building is an assembly building and similar uses are very limited. Plus, with the building’s systems being outdated, renovation would have been a very costly undertaking.”
It is unknown at this time if seats and other pieces of the building will be sold to fans, but with no immediate action being taken, there is still time to figure out those types of details.
The Tad Pad’s time on the Ole Miss campus may be reaching its final stages, but for most, it will forever be a part of the identity of the campus and Ole Miss athletics.
Steven Gagliano is a writer for HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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