With the building of the new 30 million dollar recreation center, St Mary’s College hopes to not only improve the legacy of baseball, but to also enhance the experience of students, giving them something that the school has never seen before.
When speaking with Mark Orr, the director of sports and head of athletics, he talked about the importance of building a recreation center for students: “Recreation programs that enhance the physical health and wellness of students will be significantly enhanced with the resource of a recreation center for our campus community.”
Even during a time where the economy is not exactly where it needs to be, the school managed to have raised, and had donated over 20 million dollars to go towards the new athletic center. With the school currently not having a true recreation center besides the rather ancient Madigan gym that only has treadmills and a wore down gymnasium accessible for students. What the new recreation center has to offer is so much more than what the school has ever had. Including three indoor courts, two multipurpose rooms, a climbing wall, an aquatic center, and much more.
In addition to having a nice facility for current students, they also hope to draw in more students with the new recreation center. “Saint Mary’s College is one of the few campuses that does not have a recreation center when compared to our peer institutions – this facility will become one of the signature facilities on campus. Of the top 5 things a prospective student looks at when deciding on a College: academics, job placement, financial aid and social life are among them – this center is an essential part of that social life,” says Orr. Though most people would say that academics is the most important when it comes to choosing a school, it is very obvious that something like a nice recreation center would be a hug bonus people. Not only is it social life atmosphere that Orr talked about, but also is a great way for students to stay fit. St. Mary’s has the well-known Oliver Hall that includes great meals, what would be better than a recreation center to help students occasionally work those meals off!
Orr also talks about the atmosphere of the recreation center, which hopes to build new relationships amongst the people of St. Mary’s College. “The College does not currently offer many communal gathering places on campus where students, faculty and staff alike are in a more social setting. This facility will enhance that already outstanding relationships that our faculty and students have with each other,” says Orr. With this new facility it will help bring together the students and staff of St. Mary’s like it never has before.
With approximately half of the current student body participating in recreational sporting activities, it would be great to give them better facilities to practice and compete in. The facility will not be designed for Division One NCAA athletes, but instead for those who simply enjoy recreational athletics. Division One Athletics have plenty of facilities available for practicing as well as games. Now there will be a center available for those who may not be collegiate athletes, but who just enjoy sports, working out, or any other type of fitness.
The new recreation center should be completed hopefully by the 2013-2014 academic school year. By then, the school should have all of the funds necessary to complete this building, as well as a community of students and staff ready to take part of this new aura of St. Mary’s College.