The official dedication of the Campbell Sports Center took place during Homecoming weekend, but athletes have yet to move into the 48,000 square foot space.
The center was not ready to open at its dedication ceremony, and there is no definitive opening date set, although officials said it may open in January. Campbell did not sustain any structural damage during Hurricane Sandy, but all of the electrical work for the building was postponed because of the storm and the destruction it wrought in lower Manhattan.
“As soon as we open, we’re off and running,” Erich Ely, the associate athletics director for facilities operations, said to Spectator during a recent tour of Campbell.
Although barricades and fences still surround the facility, construction is nearly complete. Workers are on site finishing the final details and completing the electrical work that needs to be done before the space can serve its purpose.
Ely said coaches are very excited about Campbell. “This delay is killing them,” he said.
Inside of Campbell, two features stand out. The first is the state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center that takes up most of the main level. Ely said that any varsity team can schedule a lift in Campbell, but it will primarily be used by the nine varsity sports that play at Baker: football, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s soccer.
Ely also said that this will help reduce the traffic that goes through the lift room in Dodge.
The second feature that stood out was the 150-seat auditorium. The room as the capacity to hold larger teams in one space and also has the potential to split into two smaller rooms so that multiple teams can meet simultaneously. “This is a space we’ve never had in athletics before,” Ely said.
Noticeably absent from the center, though, is a place for athletes and coaches to eat. Although there is a protein bar next to the lift room and pantries on two floors, the center lacks a full-blown cafeteria. “Food is an important part of the student-athlete experience up here, but we don’t know what that’ll look like yet,” Ely said.
Ely acknowledges that the final step is convincing athletes that the distance shouldn’t be a reason not to come up to the Center. “Campbell is not that far away from campus,” he said.