The Southern Allegheny Mountains will soon have a new multi-purpose venue. Officials at Mount Aloysius College broke ground today on a new facility called the Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center. Situated on the western edge of the 193-acre campus, the 87,350 square foot building is expected to be completed in mid 2014 at a cost of $25 million. Mount Aloysius College will complete construction with philanthropic support.
Mount Aloysius President Tom Foley applauded past planners whose strategic vision gave life and momentum to the project. “Former President Sr. Mary Ann Dillon and the Board of Trustees saw and understood how much the College and this region needs this facility,” he said. “We stand on their shoulders today as we break ground for our Athletic Convocation and Wellness Center. Years from now when our sons and daughters come here to watch a basketball or volleyball game, or to see a concert or take a yoga class, perhaps they will see a picture of us on this day and understand that we were thinking of them this very afternoon. Each of us understands that what we do today is for the future and I thank you all for sharing this historic Mount Aloysius moment with us.”
In outlining the overall rationale for the new venue, President Foley noted that the need for the new venue is really three-fold. “First,” he said, “Mount Aloysius athletes routinely compete with schools that have superior facilities and equipment to ours. Any Mountie athlete will concur. This facility begins to even the playing field and offers advantages that our athletes deserve. Second,” he said, ”our health sciences and nursing programs have outstanding regional reputations. We want our students to have the same access to activities like resistance training, aerobics, yoga, Pilates and other kinds of workouts that offer the health benefits that we promote and teach. And third,” added President Foley, “Mount Aloysius College was founded on the Mercy values of hospitality and inclusion. Offering this facility to our region for conferences, high school playoffs, summer camps, fairs and other activities is the responsible action for the College as a good neighbor to this wonderful Southern Allegheny Region.”
Mount Aloysius Board of Trustees Chairman Dan Rullo, Esq. thanked participants for being part of the event. “Mount Aloysius College is an expansive and inviting place with a rich history deeply intermingled with the culture of the Southern Allegheny Mountains. As we join here today,” he said, “we invite our neighbors and friends to come and be part of this campus. We recognize that this fine facility will not be only for the College but that it reaches out to engage, inviting our neighbors in.”
In anticipation of the project, much below-grade work on the infrastructure of the building has been completed. The building will face Admiral Peary Highway and include additional parking for special events. A circling corridor inside will wrap around the central arena feature of the building. There will be ample space for a wellness center and modest office space for Mountie athletic staff. Fully handicapped accessible, the building will feature ramps as well as stairs. Wherever possible, energy saving “green” technology will be used to conserve power usage. The main arena will hold retractable stadium seating for 1350.
Additional seating, as needed, can be added to the floor area for concerts, graduations and presentations. State-of-the-art digital electronics will maximize sound and viewing throughout the 87,350 square foot facility. Prominent on the front patio of the facility will be the new Mountie bronze statue recently donated to the College by Michael and Astride McLanahan of Hollidaysburg, Pa. Mr. McLanahan serves on the College’s Board of Trustees.
Other amenities scheduled for the facility include men’s and women’s lockers, training and equipment rooms and offices, drop-down batting cages and multi-purpose areas for tennis and soccer allowing bad weather training. The building will also include full-circuit nautilus, free-weights, ellipticals, tread mills and television monitors. College officials also noted that the new facility will offer state-of-the-art convention and classroom space with multi-use meeting rooms and offices.
For more information, visit www.mtaloy.edu.