#GO BERG! Campus officially breaks ground on new Fieldhouse

When Rob Huntington arrived as Heidelberg’s president 15 years ago, some of his early conversations were about the desire to build a Fieldhouse on campus. Those conversations – by some indications, 40 years ongoing – were paused for five years, 10 years … until now.

Fieldhouse Groundbreaking President Huntington

“It’s about time we build this,” Rob said to huge applause during a sweltering but fabulous groundbreaking ceremony on Friday for Heidelberg’s new $27.4 million Student Athletics, Academic, and Recreation Center.

A large group of principal donors and alumni, ‘Berg students, staff and administrators, local, state and national representatives, construction and financial partners and neighbors gathered at the site as shovels of dirt were turned to indicate that the long-awaited project will become a reality in about 18 months.

The Fieldhouse “is for current students, future students, past students and the extended community,” Rob said in his thank-you remarks.

Though the early stages of construction have been ongoing for several months, the excitement was palpable at the groundbreaking. “It’s so exciting to witness the beginning of construction … and the coming together of a shared vision,” said Board of Trustees Chair Kathy Geier ’78. “This is a great beginning to a great celebration we’ll have a year from August.”

‘Berg Athletic Director Greg Cooper called the groundbreaking “a truly momentous occasion,” noting the many new opportunities for academic programming and growth, recreational and co-curricular programming, hosting indoor athletic events and community engagement that will come when the Fieldhouse opens in the fall of 2025.

“The resources that this facility will provide to our students is what I’m truly looking forward to the most,” he said. In addition to creating new space for athletic practices, the Fieldhouse also will become home to academic programs such as Exercise Science, graduate Athletic Training, Sport Management and Health Science.

“This will be transformative for Heidelberg,” Greg added. “While others are constricting (the building of) new facilities, Heidelberg is taking bold steps to improve the future.”

Representing all students, junior soccer player Brigid Enright said she’s “excited to think of the opportunities” the Fieldhouse will provide.

“As captain of the women’s soccer team, I often have the opportunity to talk with and help recruit prospective students to Heidelberg. Speaking from that experience, I can tell you that our new Fieldhouse is something that everyone is excited about,” Brigid said. “The Fieldhouse will give us an awesome place right here on our own campus to practice year-round. No longer will we need to find alternative places to stay in shape during our off-season.”

Brigid had a heartfelt message for those who have made the fully donor-funded project possible: “On behalf of all Heidelberg students … thank you for investing in our future. Thank you for reinforcing the value of a Heidelberg experience. I can’t wait to show off this new facility next year. GO BERG!”

Representing the general contractor Marker Inc., President and CEO Allison Marker said her colleagues are thrilled to be part of “this amazing and exciting moment for Heidelberg.” Marker and Heidelberg have partnered on several major constructions and renovations in recent years, including Adams Hall, France Hall, Miller Hall and the Saurwein Health & Recreation Center.

“This project is special to me,” Allison said, “because it will be a welcoming place for people of all interests and backgrounds to connect, where everyone belongs. Marker shares those values with Heidelberg. “There’s nothing we care more about than being part of meaningful partnerships and this one ranks high on the list.”

View the Fieldhouse Groundbreaking photo gallery

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