ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Construction began today on the highly anticipated Indoor Sports & Education Facility at North Carolina Wesleyan University. Plans to build the complex, which will be located on the northeast side of campus, were announced in August.
A statement from the College at that time acknowledged, “The College received a commitment from anonymous donors for the building of an indoor sports and education facility… along with a grant from the Nash County Tourism Development Authority.”
Interim President Evan D. Duff adds, “We are extremely grateful for our donors who allow us to make a positive impact on our students and community. This facility will advance our mission by providing both educational facilities for our exercise science and health promotion majors and recreational facilities for students and members of the community.”
The state-of-the-art, approximately 48,000 square foot, air-supported structure was designed by Oakley Collier Architects and will be built by Smithson Incorporated. The facility will be a permanent structure, introducing sports not readily available currently in this area, namely squash and indoor tennis.
The genesis to construct this type of facility formed from a vision to enhance NCWC’s athletic programs, mainly tennis, golf and sports conditioning; as well as increase recreational opportunities for the College and entire surrounding community. The vision for this facility captured the attention of several donors and the Nash County Tourism Development Authority. These donors shared a common interest of developing indoor sports, namely tennis and squash. A facility where citizens of our local community, including the underserved, could have the opportunity to learn, play and enjoy. The Nash County Tourism Development Authority envisioned this facility as a destination for yearly visitors to enjoy Nash County as they participate in tournaments and events on a local, regional and national level.
One exciting amenity of this facility will be the squash courts. According to ussquash.com, over 20 million squash players participate regularly in over 185 countries and more than 200 colleges and universities have courts. A previous Forbes study also pronounced squash as the #1 sport for getting and staying fit.
The facility has potential for future growth academically and athletically, specifically within the College’s Exercise Science and Health Promotion programs. The leadership of NCWC, along with the faculty and staff associated in these areas, desire to collaborate with the local community to improve and enhance the well-being of its citizens. The sports and future educational pillars of this facility— athletics, scholarship and research— have vast potential to develop training, mentorship and tutoring programs for area youth. The facility will also offer training and education for students and local citizens concerning prevention and management of diseases and injuries, as well as will facilitate proper and enjoyable physical conditioning measures.
“The magnificent size of this facility pales in comparison to the immense impact it will have on our College and Community”, stated Head Tennis Coach Albert “Albie” Brice. The facility’s capacity to offer opportunities to play sports such as tennis and squash, regardless of weather conditions, is one example of how this facility will function in numerous ways— ways where tennis clinics, squash camps, conferences for high school coaches, afterschool programs and weekly standing games would not be cancelled. People will ride by and visualize all the wonderful things happening on Wesleyan’s campus and in this community. This facility is a game changer for our entire area!”
Wesleyan hopes to begin on-site construction in February with an expected completion of the facility by summer of 2020.