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Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center getting $45 million makeover

Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament - Second Round

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 08: Mike Lewis II #1 of the Duquesne Dukes shoots in front of Julius Johnson #32 of the Richmond Spiders during the first half in the Second Round of the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament at Capital One Arena on March 8, 2018 in Washington, DC.(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Duquesne is giving the A.J. Palumbo Center a major makeover after the upcoming basketball season.

The school announced Tuesday that the reimagined 30-year-old arena will be named UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse after former Duquesne basketball player Chuck Cooper. Cooper played for the Dukes from 1947-1950 before becoming the first African-American to be drafted by an NBA team. The Boston Celtics selected Cooper in the second round.

The renovation is expected to begin in March and cost an estimated $45 million. It is scheduled to be completed in time for the 2020-21 season. The school did not say where the Dukes would play in the meantime.

The Palumbo Center opened in 1988 and serves as the home for the Duquesne men’s and women’s basketball teams. While the updated arena will have wider concourses, a new video board and upgrades to premium seats, capacity is expected to stay around 4,400.