What You Need to Know About the New Athletics Building: Q&A with Director of Athletics Brad Fields

By Sarah Nipper, Staff Writer and Social Media Editor

There has been much buzz about the new athletic building Centre will be unveiling this academic year. Despite seeing and hearing the massive construction site almost every day, I realized that I didn’t actually know much about it. There has been heavy discourse amongst students about this very topic, but it always seemed like everyone had different answers as to what the building would actually be for Centre students. So, I contacted Centre’s Athletic Director Brad Fields, and he was more than happy to answer a few questions. Here is my Q&A with Mr. Fields, hopefully clearing up and giving you a better understanding of what to expect when it opens next spring. 


When will the new athletic center open?

The fieldhouse and the strength and performance center are scheduled to open in January 2024. The final piece to open is the aquatics center, which is slated for May 2024.

Will it be accessible for all students or just athletes?

This new facility will provide amazing opportunities for every member of our campus.  While it is an athletically-focused facility providing new home for track and field as well as swimming and diving, and will have direct impact on nearly all our 25 intercollegiate athletic teams, there will also be numerous opportunities for both regular programming, as well as special events, that will impact the entire campus community.

What are some exciting features that the athletic building will have?

The headlining features include a 50-meter pool with an integrated diving well and seating for 700 spectators; a 200-meter indoor track capable of hosting NCAA Division III National Championships; a nearly 70 yard by 45 yard multipurpose indoor turf area; and a 6,000 square foot strength and performance center.  Other exciting features include a 1,200 square foot multipurpose studio that will house a multitude of fitness opportunities, a smaller group / private on-demand fitness space, study and meeting spaces on both the first and second floor, as well as an eatery (to be designed by Parkhurst). 

Will there be any events/programming in the new building?

Yes.  We plan to kick off the opening of the Fieldhouse and Strength and Performance Center with a Grand Opening multi-day event in February (more details to come) and then we anticipate regular, weekly programming to occur after the full project is completed.  Examples of specific programs in the new facility could include yoga and meditation classes, weightlifting education, academic course collaborations, intramural tournaments and more.

What will the hours be like?

While I don’t have the definite hours yet, as we have to get the full construction project completed in May before we can truly reach our potential, the project was designed to maximize use as much as possible.

What role will the Buck Fitness Center play in Centre athletics/ student life now that a new gym will be open on campus? 

Buck Fitness Center will continue to play a vital role in the physical wellness of campus.  The opening of the additional space with IWAE will allow the College to plan for a more modernized layout and offering of equipment, as well as much more accessible time frames for the campus community to enjoy.  Expanded hours in Buck Fitness Center have already proven to open up more opportunities for fitness for all of campus and IWAE not only offers more space but also gives us the ability to rethink current spaces like Buck to continue to expand those opportunities.

How has it been funded?

Really proud of the fact that this project was funded by the generosity of College donors, fully backed by the Board of Trustees. 


So what are my big takeaways? Well, while the center is obviously designed for Centre’s sports teams, there are going to be several features that any student can benefit from, like the fitness classes, special events, study spaces, and most excitingly, A NEW EATERY! We don’t know much about that yet, but another dining option will be greatly appreciated. Lastly, it’s encouraging to know that college donors were willing to provide the funding for such a big project. Thank you to Brad Fields for getting back to me and answering these questions, and stay tuned for the opening of the building this spring!

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