Announcing Colby’s New Athletic Complex
Dear Campus Community,
Among the College’s highest obligations is to fully support our students in their academic and campus life experiences. Our efforts have resulted in real progress on many fronts, including through increasing resources for faculty, creating new academic programs and partnerships and strengthening existing ones, and initiating capital and infrastructure projects that have been recognized as priorities for some time. These include a center for arts and innovation that is currently in design, the Grossman renovation and expansion, and the reason I write today: planning for our new athletics facilities.
At the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees, the board voted to move forward with the all-new athletic complex we have been planning for almost two years. Tomorrow we will publicly announce the project, which is described in the press release below, with several renderings available at colby.edu/cac.
Colby has a long tradition of athletic excellence, dating back to the 1950s and 60s with the construction of the facility that would become the Harold Alfond Athletic Center, which was best in class for its time. Those facilities allowed Colby to recruit and support incredible students and coaches and helped to define Colby’s student experience around a healthy, athletic lifestyle. That complex, however, has many structural and mechanical challenges as well as venues that no longer meet the need for recreational and competitive use.
Creating an exceptional new complex that will last for many decades is a major undertaking. It would not be happening were it not for a generous group of alumni and friends who are supporting this project. I am pleased to announce that we have raised $100 million in commitments to date.
Like the existing athletic center, and we hope even more so, this complex will support the needs of the entire Colby community-student athletes, of course, as well as all those who are pursuing healthy activities in organized or independent form. It has also been designed with local residents in mind, building on a deep tradition of sharing our fields and facilities with young athletes and community members from the Waterville area and beyond.
Because every element of the facility will be state of the art, the facilities will introduce new economic activity to Waterville. The aquatic center, for example, will include a Myrtha pool-the type of pool used in Olympic competition-and will be Maine’s only 50-meter pool and the only Myrtha pool in New England. That alone will draw new competition to Waterville during a typically slow time of year in terms of economic activity in the region. The new indoor competition center will allow Colby to once again play host to indoor track meets and other events in that space.
I am gratified that many of you on campus today will have the opportunity to use the new complex when it opens in 2020. For those who will have since graduated, do remember that you never really leave this place-we look forward to seeing you there when you come back to visit.
This semester has been marked by some truly incredible news, starting in February with the remarkable gift from Peter and Paula Lunder, continuing with the news last week of the creation of DavisConnects, and now a formal announcement about a remarkable facility to enhance the experience of all members of our community. These are exciting times to be at Colby.
David A. Greene