Trinity athletics has been working on renovations for the William H. Bell Athletic Center since 2016, but as of January 2018, the construction continues. The project was initially expected to be completed in the fall of 2017, but was pushed out to the spring of 2018 when renovations took longer than anticipated. Now students are eagerly awaiting the project’s completion.
The athletics department has put over ten years of planning into these renovations. Athletic Director Bob King mentioned the main motivation for the renovations was the increase in demand for a larger athletic space.
“Trends toward a more health- and wellness-conscious culture, especially among our students, has increased demands on Trinity’s facilities,” King said at the time.
Most notably, the new and improved Bell Center features a two floor fitness center, complete with a weight training and cardio area. The renovations are still not entirely completed as equipment must be moved into the new building.
“[The renovations] have been a really huge success so far,” said Cameron Hill, Trinity’s women’s head basketball coach.
Students who frequent the Bell Center are less impressed with the progress, or lack thereof.
“I heard rumors it would be open before now, by the spring semester,” said Austin Bratton, sophomore marketing major.
They had hoped the renovations would be done by the time previously anticipated.
“I was told on a campus tour my senior year of high school that the Bell Center would be completed by the start of my freshman year,” said sophomore Toby Craven.
However, he also believes the construction project will not face further delays. “It looks like it’s starting to get finished,” Craven said.
At the very least, students can take solace in the fact that Bell Center construction is no longer compromising the ability of students to find parking. Last year, construction efforts impeded students’ ability to park in the lot by Mabee Dining Hall, which inevitably led to students’ frustration.
Now, with the furnishing the interior of the new building being the only task remaining in the process, it appears that the wait for the new and improved Bell Center will be over in the very near future. Students hope the renovations will be worth all the time spent waiting and the cost of the construction, as the new facility will make it easier for anybody to work out at their own convenience.
The Trinitonian reached out to athletic director Bob King and Seth Asbury, associate director of athletics for facilities and event management, about a more specific time when the Bell Center will be finished, but received no response.