PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Members of the Corporation of Brown University broke ground today (Friday, May 28, 2010) for construction of a $46-million addition to its athletics complex on Hope Street. Four new facilities — the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, the Nelson Fitness Center, the David J. Zucconi ’55 Varsity Strength and Conditioning Center, and the Ittleson Quadrangle — will be built on and near the site of the former Smith Swim Center, forming a new athletics quadrangle.
The new additions to the athletic complex should be ready for use in March 2012. The project will include:
- the Katherine Moran Coleman Aquatics Center, featuring a 56-meter swimming pool for varsity competition and recreational use, three-meter diving, and seating for 800 spectators. A system of movable bulkheads will allow simultaneous activities by different groups and could increase recreational swimming time;
- the Nelson Fitness Center, with a 10,000-square-foot multipurpose fitness loft for students, faculty and staff;
- the David J. Zucconi ’55 Varsity Strength and Conditioning Center, a 12,000-square-foot facility for varsity athletes and teams;
- the Ittleson Quadrangle, a large landscaped green space, replacing the parking lot in front of Meehan Auditorium and the Olney-Margolies Athletic Center;
- three exercise studios;
- offices for coaches and administrative staff;
- varsity locker rooms for men’s and women’s swimming and diving and water polo teams;
- car parking and an arrival point for team buses behind OMAC (to be constructed when the temporary pool is removed);
- social space, including a lobby with café.
“This magnificent new facility will give Brown’s varsity swimming, diving and water polo teams one of the league’s best venues for competition and training,” said Michael Goldberger, director of athletics. “The health and fitness center and the new athletics quadrangle will make the athletic complex an important part of campus life for the entire Brown community.”
There will also be a touch of East Side history. The original cupola from Marvel Gymnasium, carefully preserved when the gymnasium was demolished in the summer of 2002, will be incorporated into the new fitness center. “The architects have designed a modern building that will be energy-efficient and meet LEED standards,” said Michael McCormick, assistant vice president for planning, design and construction, “yet its traditional brick façade will harmonize with both the campus and neighboring residential areas.”
Hours before the groundbreaking ceremony, the Corporation voted to name the new quadrangle in honor of H. Anthony Ittleson, a 1960 Brown graduate who is among the most prominent alumni leaders. As a member of the Corporation, Ittleson is in his fourth term as a trustee and served one term as a fellow. He is honorary chair of the University’s $1.4-billion Campaign for Academic Enrichment, has been co-chair or committee member of the Class of 1960’s reunion gift at the last five reunions.
The Corporation also voted to name the strength and conditioning facility for David J. Zucconi, a 1955 Brown graduate, football player, rugby enthusiast, and long-time University staff member in the Admission Office, Athletics Department, and Development Office. The Corporation named the facility in recognition of a gift from trustee emeritus and 1976 Brown graduate Daniel S. O’Connell and Mrs. O’Connell, who are Brown parents.
The new fitness and aquatics center is part of Brown’s ambitious plan to improve University facilities. The Granoff Center for Creative Arts, under construction on Angell Street west of Thayer, had its “topping off” ceremony in late March, and renovations for the Alpert Medical School’s new medical education facility — a major University investment in the future of the city’s Jewelry District — had its groundbreaking last month. A major renovation of the Metcalf laboratories as the first home of the new Department of Cognitive, Linguistic and Psychological Sciences begins in June 2010.