'Little Bob' ceremony
UD officials cut ribbon at bigger, better Carpenter Sports Building
5:38 p.m., Aug. 26, 2013--The bigger and better Carpenter Sports Building is now open for business.
University of Delaware President Patrick Harker, Student Government Association President Jessica Borcky and Athletic Director Eric Ziady cut the ribbon outside the new main entrance this morning to welcome students, faculty and staff to see the $25 million addition and renovation. It is the biggest project in the 70-year history of the building.
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Harker thanked everyone who contributed to the project, including students, administrators and architects. He also thanked the Carpenter family and the Unidel Foundation, which have supported the facility and its programs for decades.
"This is a community that recognizes the value of a healthy University," Harker said.
"We understand the value of a space dedicated to getting us moving and active, away from our computers and phones and video games, getting us engaged with each other outside the classroom or the office, and to the sense of community that these things build," he said.
Borcky, a senior majoring in public policy and minoring in political science, said students' needs and desires were at the heart of the project.
"Not only was our comprehensive student fee put to good use through this project, but also our voices were heard along the way," Borcky said.
"New students are very fortunate to begin their UD careers with a new and improved recreation and athletic facility, and returning students will be amazed with the expansion and increased resources," she said.
Construction began about a year and a half ago after a Recreation Master Plan showed UD was falling behind its peers in terms of indoor and outdoor recreation facilities.
"For years, students here at Delaware were very vocal about their desire for high-caliber recreational and fitness facilities on campus," Ziady said.
The new 18,000-square-foot fitness area is more than three times the size of the old fitness area. It features more than 100 treadmills, stationary cycles and other exercise machines, as well as an indoor running track and a group exercise room. A rock-climbing wall and a second outdoor turf field are planned to open later this fall, Harker said.
"Really, we're getting to the point where this is no longer just a building," he said. "It's a full-fledged recreation complex."
Article by Mike Chalmers
Photos by Kathy F. Atkinson and Lane McLaughlin