Over the past year, students and faculty have watched the Cregger Center come to life. The building has just passed the halfway point of construction. It is still on track to open fall semester 2016. Recently, the Brackety-Ack was given the opportunity to get a firsthand look at the construction and hear about the plans for the building.
The focal entrance of the building will be behind sections. At the beginning of the main hallway to the left will be the main lobby with eight television screens as well as a concession stand. On the right will be the entrance to the indoor track and field area. If you pass by High Street, this is where the large concrete slab is, surrounded by metal framework.
This section includes a 200 meter indoor track, jumping pits for field sports and three courts open for students to use. These courts will have nets separating them so that people can enjoy their sports without having to worry about chasing basketballs across other courts.
Back in the main walkway there are stairs leading up to the student fitness center and the Health and Human Performance Department. This floor is outfitted with office spaces, classrooms, and a new HHP lab to accommodate the departmental move.
While many students seem to think the Cregger Center is just for athletes, the student fitness center will be moving from Bast to the top floor. It overlooks Kerr Stadium giving students not only a great view of the game, but a beautiful view over the mountains. It’s the best view in the entire building. The opposite side of the center will have glass walls so students can see the track area below it.
The lower floors of the building will house the Athletics Department. Roanoke College quickly outgrew Bast, built in 1982. The Cregger Center has locker rooms for each of the sports as well as separate visitors’ locker rooms. This part of construction is pretty far along. They have already started laying tiles in the shower rooms and painting the walls (maroon and gray, unsurprisingly). Student athletes will have a nice view of Kerr Stadium as well from a small lounge area. There is also a conference room large enough to hold an entire team to review tapes from games.
The building also boasts a huge gym that will be able to hold 2,000 fans. Part of the seating area is built into the side of the gym and some seats will be collapsible. There is a concourse around the top of this area where students can walk around and look down on the game. This gym will serve as a multipurpose area much like Bast is used now. The big concerts and raves that the Campus Activities Board puts on will most likely move to this much nicer gym. The administration also plans on using it for banquettes as well.
Not everyone is pleased with the Cregger Center though.
Despite the big environmental presence on campus from groups like Earthbound the building will not be LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certified. The school decided the extra cost to make the construction environmentally friendly wasn’t worth it because of the size.
There is also the concern about putting this update before the science complex. A startup was donated specifically for the construction of the Cregger Center, which the school then had to find a way to fully fund. While this was a welcome and honorable gesture, it no doubt delayed any action on the science complex by a few years.
As some people have noticed, the Cregger Center butts up almost to the school’s property line with a home right next door. The plan to accommodate this slight design flaw is by building a six foot tall privacy fence next to the building. It’s a very small conciliation for having a 155,000 square foot goliath within spitting distance of their kitchen.
Nevertheless, it is exciting to have modern facilities on campus.