Life + Arts

1971: When Hofheinz was new

This week in history on Feb. 25, 1971, The Daily Cougar’s Jimmy Allinder reported that Hofheinz Pavilion and the connected Melcher Gymnasium offered students the chance to participate in a variety of activities in one location.

Amenities included air-conditioned handball courts, rifle ranges, weight rooms and a heated pool. The complex was used to hold classes and open to both students and faculty in the evenings.

According to the UH Athletic Web site, Hofheinz Pavilion hosted its first athletic event on Dec. 1, 1969, when the UH men’s basketball team emerged victorious over Southwestern Louisiana 89-72. Since then, Hofheinz has been the home court for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and has also been the site of concerts by Madonna and The Rolling Stones. Hofheinz also hosts the University’s commencement ceremonies.

Hofheinz was named after UH alumnus judge Roy Hofheinz, who contributed $1.5 million to UH for the construction of the pavilion.

In 1998, luxury seats were added to Hofheinz, which has a capacity of 8,500. In 1991, a new ceiling, lighting and sound system was installed.

In 1997, UH students passed a resolution to build a new student recreation center. In 1998, students approved a $75 fee per semester to support the construction and operation of the new complex.

The 264,000 square foot complex was completed in January 2003 and includes an Olympic-size swimming pool, outdoor pool with water slide, indoor soccer court and indoor rock wall.

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