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Field house portion of athletic facility open for use after two years

| Tuesday, October 31, 2017

After roughly two years of renovations on the Angela Health and Wellness Center, the field house portion of the building is open for use.

Director of athletics Julie Schroeder-Biek said in an email that the new athletic facility will be a hub for campus community.

“I think [students] will really love the versatility that the building offers,” she said. “They can come to Angela to work out, participate in intramurals, club sports, PE classes, attend a sporting event and support the varsity teams, visit the Health and Counseling or BAVO offices or they can just meet a friend or professor for coffee or lunch.”

The field house is currently open to students who enter from the north side by the athletic fields, she said. The rest of the building is still blocked off for finishing touches before fully opening in January next semester.

“We have some limited hours available for open gyms in the field house portion of the building that includes the track,” Schroeder-Biek said. “We have been using the field house for our volleyball team’s practices and games, and our basketball team has started their practices in there as well.”

Schroeder-Biek said the improvements that come with the renovated portion of the building include a better design for more functional space. The new addition onto Angela has more than doubled the building in size, she said.

“It adds on our Health and Counseling Department and BAVO to the south side of the building, while our new athletic staff suite with expanded athletic training room are added onto the north side of the original building,” she said. “There will be larger restrooms and locker rooms for students, faculty and staff as well. The field house addition with the elevated one-tenth mile track will be used by so many for fitness, open gyms, varsity practices and club sports.”

Richard Baxter, director of campus and community events, said the facility was designed with the vision of catering to students’ minds, bodies and spirituality.

“Our primary focus is providing an education for the whole being,” Baxter said. “That’s what Holy Cross education has been about since Fr. Moreau founded the order and set about to establish education as a goal and educating the whole person. That’s the intent of the facility — that’s been the intent of the institution and our outward buildings reflect that.”

Baxter said the most striking thing about the facility for him is the view of campus from inside the building.

“You can actually participate in campus beauty while you’re standing in there,” Baxter said. “There will be two primary entrances — one on the north which faces the athletic fields and one on the south end that you will be able to look out and see the tower of Le Mans. Then, it will open out onto the quad they’ve created, that President Cervelli actually designed herself.”

Baxter said additional perks of the renovation are the new lights and the new configuration of the lacrosse field, the soccer field and the softball field. He said these renovations allow sports teams to now practice past sundown.

“They can actually have games at night if they choose, which helps them prioritize their time in a more efficient way,” he said. “They had to squeeze in all their training before the sun went down because they would be out there in the dark; now they are able to practice well into the evening if they choose.”

Senior Perla Ocádiz said the renovation has been happening since her sophomore year, and she looks forward to seeing the final product.

“I haven’t looked at the new building, but I am happy that it is finally opening up and excited for the brand-new equipment,” Ocádiz said.

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