INSTITUTE, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- It was a big day on the campus of West Virginia State University. For the first time, the university's basketball teams played in their brand new arena.
"What an exciting day in the life of any athlete here at West Virginia State University," one parent said.
Saturday's men and women's basketball games were the first to ever be played in the brand new Convocation Center.
"We've been waiting for this day for her to play in this facility for so long," Tayara Carter, a parent, said. "When we heard about it being built last year we couldn't wait."
The center includes an arena for basketball and volleyball games. There are also classrooms that can be used by teams, as well as an expanded training and locker room area.
The Convocation Center is part of a much bigger picture of improvement at the university.
It comes on the heels of several years of budget issues and low enrollment, but school officials say this is just the boost they've been looking for.
"There's a lot of energy on campus; whether it's new buildings going up or new programs coming in to meet the economic needs of the area," University Relations vice president Kimberly Osborne said. "Our student enrollment has grown. Our freshmen enrollment has doubled since the year prior."
WVSU is also in the middle of constructing a new residence hall and will soon break ground on a new athletics center.