INSTITUTE, W.Va. -- Right now, the members of the West Virginia State athletic department are scattered around campus in Institute like a dispersed army camp, making offices out of rooms in other buildings.
This has been a major inconvenience for the staff as a massive renovation/addition project at Fleming Hall has been underway for around a year now.
But the payoff at the end of the tunnel is keeping everyone at the school in high spirits despite the current hardships.
Construction should be complete around February, so basketball games on the new floor should become a reality late in the season.
"They're fired up," State athletic director Sean Loyd said. "Everybody is just real excited. We've had a lot of challenges in terms of where they've had to set up their offices and things we've had to change in relation to day-to-day procedure. It's been a difficult, difficult time but no one's complained. Everyone knows if we can just suck it up a little bit longer that we're going to get rewarded handsomely in the end because we're going to have a fine facility."
The new facility is as impressive in its size and grandeur as it is in its intricacies.
When the doors finally do open at Fleming Hall again, students and fans will be entering the modern era of West Virginia State.
"I just don't think people quite understand what we're doing here," Loyd said. "I think people are probably like, 'Oh, I heard West Virginia State is getting a new gym.' But I really don't think that they have any idea."
That "gym" isn't a gym at all as Loyd is quick to point out - it's a convocation center.
Now, the center looks more like an airport hangar as it dwarfs the size of the old gym on the second floor of Fleming Hall.
The new center will have a capacity of around 1,300 people and will have one court running north to south inside.
But the stands, which will have chair backs, will be retractable, creating the ability to have two courts running east to west as well. Loyd said the rims will be retractable, much like those at the Charleston Civic Center, the floor will be made of wood, and protective sheets of interlocking carpet can be used to protect the floor should graduations or other special events be held at the convocation center.
"Just to be able to have enough space to call something a convocation center, because that's saying that it's big enough to have convocations in," Loyd said. "That's real important for us."
While the court may be the centerpiece in the ongoing construction, it is far from the only eye-catching feature of the new facility.
The front entrance of the building is also coming into place with a unique design becoming visible. A concession stand, bathrooms and a bookstore selling State merchandise will also sit just inside the main entrance.
Beyond the gym, things get even more modern.
The volleyball and men's and women's basketball teams are all getting new locker rooms that will be similar in design.