This Kentucky college is building $50 million in new athletics facilities

Rick Childress
·3 min read

Centre College will build a 135,000-square-foot athletics building that will include an Olympic-length pool and a large indoor track, the college announced Monday.

The $50 million project — which the college said was the “largest, most comprehensive construction project to date” — will also include additions to the college’s football field and the relocation of its baseball field.

Groundbreaking for the project is planned for October and it is slated to be finished within 18 months, the college said. The new facilities were designed in partnership with Cincinnati-based MSA Sport and the project is already partially funded with early gifts funding three-quarters of the projected cost.

The project needs about $12 million more to be fully funded, the college said in the release. According to the project’s website, donors can still get their names on parts of the new athletic facilities like the indoor track, football locker room or even the baseball team’s bullpens.

“This new facility will allow us to continue attracting talented students from around the nation and across the globe not only to work with our world-class faculty but also to participate in a premier athletic and wellness program with dedicated coaches and staff who teach important leadership skills such as teamwork, resilience and determination,” said Centre President Milton Moreland in the release.

The Danville campus has an enrollment of over 1,000 students. According to the college’s athletics’ website, over 40 percent of the student body participates in at least one intercollegiate sport.

The addition of a 10-lane, 50-meter pool and the indoor track will allow Centre to expand the rosters of the teams that would use those facilities by as many as 70 athletes, the college said. The pool will also include a new diving well and seating for 700. The new, indoor track will have event seating for 800 and will also function as space for large campus events.

As part of the project, Centre will also build a 5,000-square-foot strength and performance center that will alleviate the demand on the college’s other fitness center. A nutrition center, office space for coaching staff, new locker rooms and an enhanced athletics hall of fame will also be included in the new athletics facility.

Gary Wright Field, the current baseball stadium, will be relocated to allow for the construction of the new facilities, the project’s website stated. The site of the new baseball stadium is expected to be on or near current facilities, said Michael Strystick, Centre’s chief communications officer. More info on that stadium should come by the start of the summer.

Built in 1966, Boles Natatorium, the current home of the swim and dive teams, will be replaced by the new aquatic center. The soon-to-be-former natatorium building will be used for “new opportunities with student organizations, religious life, the arts, and to enhance our academic excellence,” Strysick said.

Farris Stadium, the college’s nearly century-old football, lacrosse, field hockey and outdoor track stadium, will get a face lift and a new press box, the project’s website stated.

“Along with other recent projects to enhance and expand academic facilities, create a new student success center, and add and renovate residence halls,” said Moreland, “this project makes clear Centre’s mission to offer an impactful campus experience that prepares its graduates to move the world forward in ways driven by purpose and meaning.”