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The University of Arizona announced Saturday that it's received several major financial gifts toward planned McKale Center renovations.

The school said it received an $8 million matching donation, meaning that $8 million will be given to the school once it meets that mark. The athletic department has raised $1.6 million toward that goal.

"It's an incredible opportunity that we can potentially double our aggressive fundraising efforts to $16 million essentially overnight if we can meet the goal of the challenge," UA Athletic Director Greg Byrne said in a press release.

If the $8 million matching goal is met, the UA will be at 28.6 million of $30 million required for the project's initial phase. The UA said it expects that funding goal to be met by April, though the total renovations are expected to reach $80 million.

The initial phase is expected to begin in May, pending Arizona Board of Regents approval. Improvements will include upgraded seating, hand rails, enhanced lighting and a new playing floor, as well as upgrades to locker rooms, concessions and restrooms.

Alex Williams,

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