New SMC Athletics Facility Shepherds New Era of Student Life at Southwestern Michigan College (SMC)

DOWAGIAC, MICHIGAN – 08.19.2022 – Southwestern Michigan College (SMC) officially kicked off its renewed athletics program with a dedication ceremony last Wednesday at its brand new athletics facility, 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse. The renovation and addition, designed by Abonmarche, will breathe new life into the fabric of the SMC campus while supporting the many new athletic sports programs at the college.

The new athletics facility brings an entirely new experience to students, fans, and alumni with enhanced amenities, including state-of-the-art gymnasium upgrades, athlete-focused support spaces, alumni and donor experience areas, and an observation lounge overlooking the sports facility affectionately called “the Nest”.

The architectural team at Abonmarche worked closely with SMC to define the school’s primary goals for the new space. In addition to serving as a home-base for all athletic programs, 1st Source Bank Fieldhouse will host students and community members for a wide range of events such as commencement ceremonies, concerts, and the like.

“This entire project has been a catalyst for recruitment, bringing back athletics to SMC while also enhancing the student life experience for all students working toward completing their education,” said Arvin Delacruz, Architect, AIA, NCARB, at Abonmarche. “We focused on creating a well-rounded experience for the student athletes – but we also wanted this space to be something all Roadrunners and the community at large can be proud of.

“SMC has a legacy of bringing high value amenities to the collegiate options young people have across Michigan – and this new addition will continue that tradition.”

New gymnasium features include a state-of-the-art technology suite of digital screens and scoreboards, a total renovation of the court floor, and retractable bleachers. The new facility will support the launch of all-new basketball, volleyball, and wrestling programs at SMC.

Support spaces include:

  • New locker rooms for the home team and updated lockers for visiting team
  • Training area with therapy and cold bathing tub
  • Team laundry facility and equipment storage
  • Suite of Athletic Director, coaches and administrative offices
  • Second level officials room
  • Second level lounge suite

Additional upgrades include new flooring, lighting and paint, new guest restrooms, and elevator access.

Even within a tight timeline driven by the school’s need to start hosting activities in advance of the Fall 2022 athletic season, the building was kept operational as design and construction were being completed.

“This project featured a high level of complexity within a pressed timeline, and the design team and owner were focused on being mindful of the need for this building to maintain operations while construction was underway,” Delacruz noted. “When athletes began arriving on campus ahead of the school year, they were able jump right into training.”

Dedication ceremony attendees – which included athletes from SMC’s basketball, cross country, dance, volleyball and wrestling teams – enjoyed refreshments, met with athletic program staff, and enjoyed tours of the new facility. With the support of community members and organizations, and the SMC Board of Trustees, Southwestern Michigan College is ready to launch this new chapter.

The Project Team

Structural Engineering, Architecture, Interior Design: Abonmarche

General Contractor: Pearson Construction – Benton Harbor, MI

MEP Consultants: Comprehensive Engineering – Grand Rapids, MI

Furniture: Michigan Office Environments – Kalamazoo, MI

Additional Resources

To learn more about the new SMC athletic programs and curriculum being offered: https://www.swmich.edu/news/a-full-court-press-as-the-roadrunners-return.html

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