Construction put off until 2014 for Naismith’s rules building

KU Jayhawks (KSN Image)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Construction on the home for James Naismith’s original rules of basketball has been pushed back to next spring.

Work was expected to begin this year on the $18 million DeBruce Center, which will be connected to Allen Fieldhouse and the Booth Family Hall of Athletics, the Kansas City Star ( reported.

Contributing to the delay, officials said, is finding lighting that won’t compromise the 1891 document and making sure the new building doesn’t affect the sightlines of Allen Fieldhouse’s exterior. University officials also had concerns about working on the building while basketball season was underway.

“It reached the point,” KU Endowment president Dale Seuferling said, “where you don’t want to start now and have these huge conflicts with the game-day crowds.”

Seuferling said other than a delayed start date, the rest of the project is ready. The financing, which includes a primary donation from Paul and Katherine DeBruce of Mission Hills, Kan., is in place.

Naismith outlined the 13 basic rules for what would become the game of basketball in 1891 and served as the school’s first coach in 1898.

More than a century later, in 2010, Kansas alumnus David Booth purchased the two-page document at an auction for $4.3 million — the highest price ever paid for sports memorabilia at the time.

When he offered to donate the artifact to the University of Kansas, Booth suggested the school erect a new building to house the document. The new building also will serve as a student center with dining options and meeting spaces for students.

Seuferling said the plans and renderings for the building could be unveiled in early 2014. And when construction begins in the spring, the university will have a full summer to get started on the project and prepare for how construction might affect the site next fall.


Information from: The Kansas City Star,


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