The 2003-04 sport season was the inaugural season of Charles Koch Arena -- the 10,500-seat arena which serves as the home venue for Wichita State basketball and volleyball competition.
For 47 years prior the building was home to men’s basketball games, and for 19 seasons it was home to volleyball before a $25 million ”Roundhouse Renaissance” renovation campaign began in March 2002.
Constructed in 1955 at a cost of $1.4 million, the arena was considered futuristic because of its circular design. It was also regarded as a premier facility for spectators because of its excellent sight lines and the close proximity of fans to the court, and is recognized around the Missouri Valley Conference and the nation for the homecourt advantage that boisterous WSU fans provide the Shockers. During the past 50 seasons, WSU men's basketball teams have posted a .700-plus home winning percentage in the building.
Originally known as the Roundhouse, the arena was rededicated Jan. 17, 1969, in honor of the late Henry Levitt, a civic leader in Wichita and a noted friend and supporter of Wichita State. The arena received a major facelift in the summer of 1987, including installation of a new lighting system, painting of the arena interior, refinishing of all bleachers, installation of new goals with mounted shot clocks, and refinishing and painting of the court. A year later the concourse received a new look, which included repainting, new banners, and new signage.
The Roundhouse Renaissance campaign kicked off in 2002 with initial pledges totaling nearly $13 million, including a $6 million gift from Koch Industries Inc. in honor of Koch Industries Chairman and CEO Charles Koch. The lead gift represented the largest single gift in the history of the company, as well as the largest single gift received by the University. The subsequent renovation created the Henry Levitt Athletic Complex, which includes the Charles Koch Arena and Devlin Court, the Taylor Concourse, the Preferred Health Systems Multi Purpose Center, Geist Student Services Building, the Downing Academic Learning Center and the Via Christi Sports Medicine Complex.