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Construction of new home for Naismith’s basketball rules delayed until next spring

Sep 25, 2013, 11:34 PM EDT

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Dr. James Naismith’s official rules to the game of basketball are incredibly valuable, with Kansas alumnus David Booth paying a staggering $4.3 million for the document in a 2010 auction. However, instead of keeping the rules for himself Booth made the decision to donate the rules to his beloved alma mater.

Booth made the donation while also suggesting that the school build a facility to house the rules, and it turns out that the DeBruce Center won’t be built in time for the 2013-14 campaign. With there being concerns regarding lighting (given the age of the document, this is a detail that can’t be overlooked) and other design issues, construction of the new facility won’t begin until the spring of 2014.

The hope is that design plans will be submitted in early 2014. There are high hopes for the DeBruce Center and for obvious reasons, and given the importance of the project planners can’t afford to leave any stone unturned.

“The DeBruce Center will serve not only as a must-see destination landmark for sports fans and history buffs,” KU athletic director Sheahon Zenger said earlier this year, “But (it will also serve) as an important, integral part of campus benefiting students, faculty and visitors alike.”

First, though, KU had to figure out what the building would look like. And [KU Endowment president Dale] Seuferling said design questions pushed back the start date. KU officials, Seuferling said, wanted to be sure the new building didn’t affect the sightlines of Allen Fieldhouse’s exterior.

Waiting until the spring to begin construction means that fans won’t have their game-day experience affected this season. No work will be done to Allen Fieldhouse itself, but navigating the area surrounding a construction site could end up being an inconvenience for some fans/visitors. There won’t be games to deal with when construction begins, and if there is a need to make adjustments in the fall of 2014 at least fans will have ample time to plan accordingly.

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