ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Abilene Christian University athletes handed out pizzas as a thank you to the construction workers renovating Moody Coliseum on Thursday.

Considered to be the heart of ACU’s campus to some, the 52-year-old Moody Coliseum’s interior renovations began in December 2020, with full renovations beginning in January 2021.

Ryan Lewis, a 2018 ACU graduate and assistant project manager for HOAR construction, said he has plenty of memories from the old Moody Coliseum.

“I remember sitting in section L,” Lewis said. “I’d sit up there every single chapel. I’d be watching and thinking someone is going to eat it down those stairs because they are incredibly steep.”

Now, he is helping give this piece of ACU history a facelift.

“Back then, it looked like a spaceship from 1960,” Lewis said. “Now, it will look like a spaceship from today.”

Larger seats and more accessibility are two features they being added to the new Moody Coliseum as capacity will be reduced by 500 seats from 4,100 to 3,600.

Lewis said they expect to have Moody Coliseum completely renovated by Summer 2022, but are hoping to get the gym playable with a few games left in ACU basketball’s regular season in February and March.

“That’s our ultimate goal,” Lewis said. “We’re working very hard because we know there are a lot of seniors on the team and we genuinely want them to play a couple here.”

One of those seniors is Madi Miller, who began her career on the old Moody Coliseum court, but spent last season playing on the makeshift court in the Teague Center.

It was the first time Miller was able to see the renovations from inside Moody Coliseum, and said she couldn’t believe how far along the construction was.

“It’s emotional,” Miller said. “You know, we say time flies, but so much has changed in all the time I’ve been here. It’s powerful.”

Miller is one of a handful of seniors on the ACU men’s and women’s basketball teams that believe they will get to see their last minutes in Moody Coliseum.

“I really am confident that we’ll get to play a few games here,” Miller said. “I really believe this will be the start of a legacy to come through ACU.”

The locker rooms, training rooms, restrooms and concessions are expected to see upgrades, as well as the offices for volleyball and basketball staff members.

Moody Coliseum will also play home to non-athletic events, such as concerts.