06/23/2020 11:57 am
Rockford University’s $3.5 million Seaver Physical Education Center renovation was completed, ahead of schedule and on budget, on May 29. The successful completion was aided by a mild winter and pandemic-related closures that eliminated the need to work around classroom and practice schedules.
The newly-constructed fitness center and weight room add approximately 3,800 square feet to the building. The 89,243-square foot facility features four new classrooms, including one that doubles as an exercise science lab to support the rapidly-growing Kinesiology department.
“This project is the culmination of a multi-year fundraising campaign,” said Stephen Kull, vice president for Advancement at Rockford University. “We are immensely grateful to our alumni and friends who supported The Rock Solid & Ready Campaign. They shared our vision and invested in the future of Rockford University’s students.” University donors contributed $18.4 million, exceeding the campaign goal by $1.1 million.
The $3.5 million renovation focused on both visible improvements and upgrades to building systems. The 700 square foot lobby features a new concession area; the entire building is fully air-conditioned and heated; and the rest rooms have been renovated and are now accessible. Seaver also received a new roof, energy-efficient LED lighting, a state-of the-art boiler, and a new power transformer.
Living, working, and playing through construction.
The impact of construction on teaching, learning, practices, and competitions was seasonal. During the fall, there was little impact on student-athletes and competitions. “We began to prepare for the inside construction work by moving equipment, cleaning out storerooms, and more” said Assistant Director of Athletics, Head Women’s Volleyball Coach, and Director of the Seaver Center Jen Saylor. “Fall is a time of great excitement for the University community and its student-athletes. The groundbreaking ceremony in November 2019 made all of the hard work and planning a realization.”
Winter and spring athletic programs and exercise science classes required more creativity. Kinesiology faculty moved into temporary classrooms and offices. New routines were developed to adapt to changing conditions and access. “As a strong athletic community, we managed to work through the difficulties,” said Saylor. “The Kinesiology faculty, athletic staff, student workers, and Sodexo communicated and remained flexible. The hard work paid off, and soon we will be celebrating the re-opening of the Seaver Physical Education Center.”
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