By David Collins, Part-Time Staff Writer
Saint Vincent College has announced plans to open a brand-new athletic facility for students next to the Fred Rogers Center. The facility will be called The Dunlap Family Athletic and Recreation Center, with the Dunlap family being the lead donor to the project.
Dave Hollenbaugh, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, has been closely involved with the project, working in conjunction with the president and the athletic department in the undertaking to raise funds for the facility. He reported that this project has been in the works for a while.
“The planning has been in progress for a couple of years. We’ve talked about an indoor athletic facility for quite some time, and there have been several different ideas for it,” Hollenbaugh said. “And now we’re turning it into a reality.”
As it stands currently, the Carey Center houses all indoor athletic activities. No significant changes will be made to the active athletic facilities currently in Carey. The intent of the new facility is to create more athletic opportunities, not to replace the current Carey Center athletic facilities.
The addition of a new facility will provide more space for the varsity teams to practice—particularly in the event of inclement weather—and more opportunities for intramural teams to emerge as a result, hopefully benefitting the entirety of the college community.
The Dunlap Family Center will contain one large multi-purpose main space with an adjunct building attached.
“There’s a playing surface, and then there is a wing building. So, in that playing surface, there is a significant amount of turf, and it will be available for a multitude of sports, anything that could be on turf, if there is any game going on for soccer, lacrosse, football, etc.,” Hollenbaugh said.
There will also be space for traditionally indoor sports. Along with a recreational track, a few sport courts will be built as well, made of a composite material serviceable for basketball or volleyball. The wing building will feature various training rooms, fit for yoga, Pilates, cardio equipment and various fitness classes.
Hollenbaugh explained that construction for this project will begin very soon.
“We hope to have ground breaking early this summer. And the construction term will take twelve months. Then we’re hoping that it is usable for fall 2023,” Hollenbaugh said.
According to this timeline, current freshmen and sophomores should be able to experience and take advantage of this facility during their SVC tenure, as well as all future SVC students.