YSU begins $2M project to replace outdated Beeghly Center seats

Donors paid for improved chairs


Staff writer

YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University this week began removing seats from the Beeghly Center as part of a $2 million replacement project.

John Hyden, Associate Vice President for Facilities and Support Services, said the university is replacing a majority of the roughly 4,900 seats in the arena, leaving only the general admission seats above each baseline unchanged.

He said the new seating will provide more comfortable accommodations for attendees.

“We will lose a few seats but the seating we have will be more comfortable,” he said. “I’m 6’4″ and my knees are banging on the back of the seat in front of me. A few inches can make a lot of difference for knee space.”

Hyden said the red fold-out seats will be replaced with new fold-out seats and the collapsible bleachers above will be replaced with collapsible plastic bleachers with contoured plastic seats and seat backs

He said the difference in seating capacity will not be noticeable.

Beeghly, named for local businessman Leon A. Beeghly, opened in December of 1972, with all wooden bleachers, and seating only available on the sides. In 1983, the university added 6,500 general admission seats above each baseline and replaced some wooden bleachers with the red chair seats.

Hyden said the chairs have become obsolete which was another reason for replacing them.

“I can no longer order parts for them,” he said. “Every now and then, we find someone with a couple pieces and we try to stock up on those, but now if someone, say, breaks a seat arm off, we can’t fix that. The seat shells are what usually break and I can no longer find those, so we can’t replace them.”

Hyden said the project was funded entirely through private philanthropy, supported by donors who gave specifically for this project.

He said the project needs to be completed in advance of the fall semester, and he expects it will be wrapped up in the first week of August.

Have an interesting story? Contact Dan Pompili by email at dpompili@vindy.com.


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