Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is fouled by Eastern Washington guard Brittany Klaman as she drives to the basket during the fourth quarter of their matchup at Matthew Knight Arena earlier this year. The venue will undergo improvements in the coming year, all of which will be funded through private donations.

The Board of Trustees of the University of Oregon approved making changes to Matthew Knight Arena during Tuesday’s meeting in Eugene.

Construction in and around the sports complex could start later this month and is funded entirely though private philanthropy.

Matthew Knight Arena (MKA) originally opened eight years ago in January 2011.

MKA is the practice and competition home for the University of Oregon’s men’s basketball, women’s basketball and volleyball programs.

There are two primary components to the project: a visual improvement and an office complex.

The office complex will be a three-floor office building connected to the practice courts. MKA does not currently have office and meeting spaces for the three main athletic programs using the building.

According to the project summary, “The relocation of these staff to the new MKA office complex will make them more accessible to their student-athletes throughout the day, not just during practice, and will positively impact their efficiency, productivity and the ability to build a championship program culture.”

Each floor of the new building would be approximately 5,000 square feet with areas for coaches and support staff as well as meeting rooms, a break room, restrooms, storage, a common area and a reception area.

Moving the basketball and volleyball staff to a new building would also address existing space challenges at the Casanova Center, where those offices are currently housed.

“The enhancement of the visual experience throughout these areas will provide MKA with a fresh, attractive and innovative look for our current and prospective student-athletes,” the project summary reads.

Cameras will also be installed in the O-Hub to film team huddles prior to competition to enhance the fan experience.

The project would “improve spaces dedicated for student-athletes and improve operational facilities such as coaching and administrative spaces,” according to the project summary.

News-Review sports reporter Sanne Godfrey can be reached at 541-957-4203 or via email at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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Sanne Godfrey is a sports reporter for The News-Review.

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