Update: Florida men's basketball SID Denver Parler tweets that NBBJ Design did not win the bid to renovate the O'Connell Center, and thus that these pictures aren't real.
On Tuesday afternoon, Florida announced that "the team of Davis Architects, CPPI Construction Management and TLC Engineering" will handle the O'Connell Center's renovation. Only Gators has more on what Davis Architects, an Alabama-based firm that handled the renovation of Florida's gymnastics training facilities, has done in its past.
We regret the error. Original story follows, though it's obviously mostly wrong now.
Original: New photo renderings of what the O'Connell Center will look like in December 2015 after its $45 million renovation is completed were released to Sports Illustrated's Tim Newcomb by design firm NBBJ on Tuesday.
And they're gorgeous.
There are only three beautiful pictures above, but these are the first images of the reinvisioning of Florida's multipurpose indoor arena, last renovated with a concrete roof in 1997, that have been released to the public since the renovation was officially announced in early June, and they aren't the same old images used in internal proposals from the funding phase, either: These are high-quality renderings from a design firm that has the okay to fully imagine this project, and one that knows what it is doing.
This is also the first time NBBJ has been connected to the project. Florida's earlier June release indicated that "The UAA Board of Directors voted to approve the process of choosing a firm to design the project," and it appears the school's athletic department has settled on the global design firm that has also been behind projects like an athletics center for the 2008 Olympics in China, a renovation to the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium, and the currently-on-hold renovations to Kentucky's Rupp Arena.
Florida picked a good firm for this project, it seems — and the above pictures are compelling proof.