In 1998 Furman University athletics entered a new era with the opening of Timmons Arena, the school’s on-campus, multi-purpose facility.
The 100,000 square-foot arena, which seats 3,500 people for basketball and 6,000 for concerts and other school and community activities, currently serves as the home of the university’s football and men’s and women’s basketball programs.
In addition to featuring two regulation-size basketball courts, the facility includes offices and locker room facilities, offices for sports information, a complete sports medicine facility, and a 7,000 square-foot strength and conditioning center that serves the university’s entire 20-sport intercollegiate athletics program. Arena seating is chair-back style and is collapsible to allow the available floor space to be used for a variety of activities.
The lead gift of $4 million for the facility was provided by longtime Furman supporters William R. Timmons, Jr. ‘49, Jean Timmons Pelham ‘42, and Charlie and Kitty Wells ‘48 Timmons. Bill, Jean, and Charlie are children of the late William R. Timmons ‘14.
At the time of facility dedication, Bill Timmons, chairman of Greenville’s Canal Insurance Company, longtime university trustee, and recipient of an honorary degree from Furman, recalled that his family’s association with the university dated back from his father’s enrollment in 1910. His father’s brother, Charles Edward Timmons, Jr., also attended Furman before volunteering for World War I, during which he was killed in action.
The construction of Timmons Arena eased overcrowding in Alley Gymnasium and in the Herman W. Lay Physical Activities Center (PAC), which currently serves as the home of the department of health and exercise science, student recreational and intramural sports, and fitness center.
The decision to move forward with the arena was driven by the closing of Memorial Auditorium, the downtown Greenville facility that served as Furman’s basketball home for 38 years.
Located just southeast of the home stands at Paladin Stadium, Timmons Arena features a main entrance and wings made of brick, with the rear constructed of split face block and insulated metal panels. Stanmar Inc. of Stanbury, Mass., which specializes in constructing athletic facilities, was the designer and builder at a cost of $10.9 million.