Athletic Center UpdateGAMBIER, Ohio (September 9, 2005) Construction of Kenyon's new athletic center enters its final phases this fall, as work crews complete the building's exterior and concentrate on the special floors and finishes of the inside. "It looks like we are going to be able to open the doors in mid to late December," says Douglas Zipp, associate director of athletics for facilities and operations. "At the very latest, the building will be ready to open before the start of the second semester."
Zipp says that the roof of the building is virtually complete and that late-stage site work, including grading and landscaping, is under way. Inside, meanwhile, workers are painting, framing offices, and installing glass. Speakers and light fixtures have been installed. The tennis-court area has been paved in preparation for final flooring. Locker rooms and restrooms are being tiled. The tiling of the pool tank should be complete by the end of September. Around mid-month, the installation of the interior wall finishes, athletic floors, and lockers will begin.
As the building takes shape, inside and outside, it also takes on a new name. Previously referred to as the Kenyon Center for Fitness, Recreation and Athletics, the building was, at the request of the facility's principal anonymous donor, officially named the Kenyon Athletic Center.
An operations committee for the new facility has also been formed and is developing a draft of use guidelines, which will soon be submitted for approval."The guiding principle for developing membership criteria," reads a draft of the guidelines, "is 'students first.' To that end, it is important that . . . students have priority and are first to enjoy the center."
While the Kenyon Athletic Center will begin operating by semester's end, the official grand-opening ceremony will take place in the spring. Festivities are scheduled for April 20-22, 2006. Russell Geiger, the head golf coach and former director of major gifts, is coordinating plans for the opening.