Thanks to generous donations and partnerships, Lees-McRae is pleased to announce plans to enhance Bobcat athletic facilities by adding three new venues to the existing athletic complex by fall 2015. Scheduled enhancements include the addition of a media room, indoor training facility, locker rooms, study lounge, and captain’s meeting room as well as remodeled bathrooms and shower facilities and a renovated student recreation center. These enhancements increase the existing athletic footprint by 10 percent and serve over 300 student-athletes participating in one of the College’s 19 athletic teams.
“These projects come at an exciting time in the College’s history and demonstrate a commitment to intercollegiate athletics, campus and community,” stated Craig McPhail, vice president of athletics and club sports. “We will be able to better serve our growing student-athlete population and provide more resources that support their success.”
The Lees-McRae College Athletics media room, located in a former classroom in the Williams Physical Education Center, will provide a state-of-the-art media and film room featuring 40 stadium seats on risers, a projection screen and two 50-inch flat-screen televisions. This will be a designated space for player development and event viewing as well as an asset to coaches for scouting and recruiting. This project is made possible due to an anonymous donation along with a gift from Dr. Larry Hopkins ’77, current trustee and Lees-McRae Hall of Fame member.
Due to underutilization and rising cost of maintenance, the 7,000 square foot area formerly known as Rhea-Lyons Pool will be converted to an indoor training facility for student-athletes to practice during inclement weather. This space is located within close proximity to the athletic training room, restrooms and locker rooms and will be used for practicing lacrosse crease plays, softball batting, track and field high and long jumps and more.
With support from the Avery County Commissioners and a gift from Trustee Ken Haigler, the former Avery County parole office, located adjacent to the Williams Physical Education Center, will be converted to the Haigler Athletic Center. This 3,200 square foot facility will provide 80 additional lockers and dressing rooms for women’s softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse, in addition to a captain’s meeting room, study lounge and outdoor covered picnic area.
In addition, the College plans to renovate existing public restrooms, team restrooms and shower facilities located in the Williams Physical Education Center and to expand the Carol and Glenn Arthur Student Recreation Complex by finishing out the lower two levels of the facility. This will add space for a bouldering wall, group exercise and weight room. These additions will provide a centralized health and wellness hub on campus for the entire student body.
Current student-athlete, Tori Wright ’16, commented, “I am excited about the new enhancements for the athletic department. The conversion of the swimming pool into useable practice space during the winter is a tremendous upgrade and something many sports will use all year round.”
For more information about athletic facilities or offerings at Lees-McRae College, visit lmcbobcats.com.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina, Lees-McRae College is a private, four-year college offering diverse baccalaureate degrees, strong athletic programs and outstanding faculty. With 950 students hailing from 31 states and more than 8 countries, Lees-McRae’s broad core curriculum is enhanced by field-specific career preparation and experiential learning. For more information, please visit www.lmc.edu or call 828-898-5241.