New Hogan Center Enhances Student Experience
After nearly 18 months of construction, Alma College’s new Hogan Center addition is finished and ready to serve students and the greater community as the College’s primary venue for commencement, convocations, major events and athletics.
The $10.2 million project includes renovated locker rooms, athletic training space, natatorium, coaches offices and classrooms in the existing athletics building along with the addition of the 29,000-square-foot Art Smith Arena, which provides space for major College events as well as a new home court for the men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams.
The Art Smith Arena
“This is a fabulous arena with a beautiful lobby that will enhance the student experience at Alma and serve as a showcase for the campus not only in our local community but regionally and nationally,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “This will be an excellent community gathering place for speakers, concert and other events. We continue to welcome those who attend games and College events as well as those who swim in the pool or play racquetball.”
A dedication ceremony is planned for noon Friday, Oct. 8. The project is funded by a combination of gifts and the sale of bonds. Fund raising continues for the project, says Carol Hyble, vice president for advancement.
“We continue to focus on raising our goal of $4.5 million for the project,” says Hyble. “We are excited and thankful that we have raised more than 85 percent of our goal, but it’s important that we successfully complete the campaign.”
A view of the lobby
The arena is designed to be Alma College’s first LEED-certified building, the nationally recognizable mark of sustainable construction. Sustainable components include use of recycled content in ceiling panels, carpet, floor tiles, bleacher construction and sub-floor, along with maximized energy performance, water use reduction measures, and Energy Star-compliant roof system.
In addition, the GreenPlay hardwood basketball floor, one of the first in the country, meets enhanced standards for sustainable construction.
“I’m very pleased that there was a real commitment to sustainability with this project,” says Abernathy. “The building models environmental commitments that match the values of Alma College.”
The new arena seats 2,430, with additional floor seating of 600 available for non-athletics events. The handicap accessible facility has a ground-level entrance, new elevators and a 6,600-square-foot lobby with new concession stand and restrooms. The basketball arena features theatre-style seating on the “home” side of the court.
The new scoreboard, made possible by a gift from alumnus Greg Hatcher.
“When people walk into this new facility for the first time, they will see an arena, not a gymnasium,” says Alma College Athletic Director John Leister. “The horseshoe seating around the playing court will be more convenient for viewing games, and the electronic video board is amazing. People will be entertained by the facility as well as the competition.”
The new facility also provides an enhanced athletic performance environment for Alma’s student-athletes, says Leister.
“Throughout the country, not just the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletics Conference, schools are trying to give their student-athletes the best experience possible with new facilities,” says Leister. “In recruiting, we find that prospective students look at facilities more than in the past. Many high school gymnasiums are phenomenal places, and students who are interested in competing in college want to step up to better facilities.
“This is a huge step for us, not only with the new arena but the renovated locker rooms, practice areas and athletic training space,” says Leister. “We are now on a level playing field, not only with the schools in the MIAA but with Division III schools nationally.”
The first home volleyball match in the Art Smith Arena is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The first home basketball games are tentatively scheduled for November.
The arena is named in honor of Art Smith, a 1938 Alma College graduate who left a lifetime legacy as a teacher and coach. A member of the Alma College Hall of Fame, he taught and coached at Alma from 1956 through 1978 and served as director of athletics. A $1 million gift from his estate was designated for the Hogan Center addition.
The arena’s new basketball court has been named The C.S. and Marion McIntyre Foundation Court is recognition of a major gift from the foundation.
Posted: Sat, August 28th, 2010 at 8:26AM