Thoughts on the future

In a recent e-mail, President David A. Greene discussed recent deliberations from the Board of Trustees. Among the topics were honorary degrees, investments in Waterville, and infrastructure on campus, including our athletic facilities. In the e-mail, Greene stated that the Board approved Hopkins Architects to design Colby’s new athletic complex. The London-based firm has a number of impressive buildings on its resume, including the velodrome at the 2012 Olympics, the National Tennis Center at Wimbledon, and numerous athletic centers at prestigious colleges and universities. In addition, the firm has a reputation of sustainability. This all means that our athletic center, at long last, is another step closer to improvement, and hopefully total redevelopment.
So, what improvements are we going to see? I can only speculate, and seeing that our new baseball/softball facility may very well be the only new addition I will see in my collegiate career, I would still like to visit Waterville in five years and find a number improvements in our athletic facility.
1. Bigger, bigger, and also bigger
If I come back in five years and I see another packed gym filled with three varsity sports teams (hopefully including rugby) screaming at each other for control over the weight room while us “regular” athletes have to settle for two 10 pound dumbbells as our means for working out I may ask for a refund on our tuition increases.
2. Better fields for the winter
The baseball/softball fields are a huge improvement in this respect, however, our hardcore athletes need some fields to play on once the outdoors become habitable, and the indoor track is just not sufficient. A second indoor fieldhouse, hopefully with an artificial grass surface, is necessary, or at least turf fields that can be cleared off more efficiently.
3. More equipment
This is pretty simple. If I want to run around in a closed off box hitting balls off walls on our squash court, I should be able to borrow a racket. If I want to airball some threes like The White Mamba, I should be able to borrow a basketball. Five I-play teams should not have to fight over one flat soccer ball. I’ll make the trip to Wal-Mart if Colby gave me the 50 bucks it would cost, or they can take it out of my massive tuition fee.
That’s three things right there, but there are so many more issues with our athletic facilities. Club sports, such as rugby and ultimate frisbee, have almost no representation in our athletic center. Outing club lives in a shack on the other side of campus, and our general citizens not on athletic teams either get pushed out while working out during the day or have to lumber down through the snow while it’s dark and cold. Varsity athletics have their own problems with the facilities as well, and, hopefully, all will be fixed by the British!
I am excited to follow the progress of our improving athletics over the next few years. Perhaps our beautiful new complex will impress new recruits and give Colby athletics some newfound success. Maybe the athletic center will be a celebrated part of our campus and not something our tour guides skip in discussing (they barely mentioned our current one on my tour). Hopefully our new center will be a place the student body looks forward to walking across campus for. I’m even hoping President Greene wants to walk twice a day from his mansion clear across campus all the way to our new facilities. Either way, it’s commendable of our President to already be able to approve of these new architects, and I’m excited to see what is in store for the future of the athletic complex at Colby, even if I’m just an alumnus by then.