Hood College President Ronald J. Volpe, Ph.D., welcomed students, staff, faculty and the Frederick community to the dedication ceremony for the Hood Athletic Center Friday.
A standing-room-only crowd packed BB&T Arena to christen the new building and tour the 41,000-square-foot facility. The state-of-the-art multipurpose facility was designed by Bruce Zavos of Zavos Architecture + Design and built by Warner Construction, both of Frederick.
BB&T Arena will serve as the home court for the Blazers' volleyball and women's and men's basketball teams, and will also serve as a potential venue for convocation and commencement ceremonies. In addition to the 1,600-seat arena with seating for 500 more on the floor, locker rooms and a 5,000-square-foot, two-level fitness center, the facility includes an athletic training room, offices, a hospitality room, hall of fame recognition wall and an observation deck.
Dick Dull, the director of Hood College's Blue and Grey Club, served as the emcee for the dedication ceremony. After offering his welcoming remarks, Dull introduced Cheryl Brown Dreiling '69, the chair of Hood's Board of Trustees. Dreiling then introduced President Volpe who received a standing ovation in recognition of his efforts in making the athletic center a reality for the Hood campus.
Student Government Association president Doug Raftery '12 then shared his remarks on behalf of the student body. Gib Romaine, Director of Athletics and co-chair of the Hood Athletic Center planning committee followed Raftery and thanked numerous individuals for their dedication to the athletic center project. History professor and former women's tennis coach Len Latkovski, Ph.D., was the next speaker to address the spectators on behalf of the faculty and vice president for institutional advancement Nancy Gillece '81 offered closing comments.
President Volpe then called on select individuals to place various items into a commemorative time capsule. The time capsule, which will be buried outside of the athletic center, contains team photos, architectural drawings of the facility, a sample of dirt from the groundbreaking ceremony and other items and will remain locked and buried for 50 years.
The ceremony concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony. The crowd collectively counted down the final five seconds to the big moment, and as the ribbon was snipped, canons launched blue and grey streamers across the arena floor and Journey's hit "Don't Stop Believing" resounded throughout the facility. Guests were then encouraged to explore the facility and enjoy refreshments.
The Hodson Fitness Center opened its doors to Hood's fitness enthusiasts from 6-10 p.m. Friday evening. The facility's regular hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The Blazers' first contest in the Hood Athletic Center will take place Sunday, Nov. 27, when the Hood women's basketball team entertains Shenandoah University in a nonconference game at 2 p.m. The Blazer men's basketball team hosts its first home game Monday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. versus nonleague foe Penn State University Mont-Alto.