BY COLE BRUNI
Sacred Heart University on April 13 announced the Bobby Valentine Athletic Center, a brand new 57,400-square foot athletic facility for students.
The building is being named after Major League Baseball veteran Bobby Valentine, who is Sacred Heart’s Executive Director of Athletics. Valentine was also the former manager of the Mets and the Boston Red Sox, as well as owner of “Bobby V’s” resturant in Stamford, Conn.
“We are grateful to Bobby and the generous donors who are funding the Bobby Valentine Center. The Pitt Center has been doing double duty as a training facility for our D-1 student-athletes while also serving the entire student body,” said Sacred Heart President John Petillo. “The Bobby Valentine Center will offer state-of-the-art facilities where students can work out and exercise and also gather socially to bowl or have a smoothie. Incoming students are looking for these kind of amenities when making a decision about where to go to school.”
The building will be open to all students and Valentine has hopes it will become a place which encourages a healthy lifestyle and social opportunities.
“It’s nice to see my tuition put to work,” said junior Mariel Rondinelli. “By the time my kids are ready to go to college, Sacred Heart will be amazing.”
According to the Scared Heart University website, the new facility is set to stand three stories tall and 57,400-square foot. It will also include an indoor running track, 45 foot climbing wall, and a bowling alley. Construction began in 2017, however the anticipated opening isn’t until August 2019.
“I’m excited to see it when its finished,” says Junior Nick Troiano. “I’m just bummed that I won’t be around to use it.”
The total cost of the project is $21.8 million. The University contracted Glastonbury based architectural firm S/L/A/M Collaborative, the same firm who constructed the Center for Healthcare Education.
“It’s cool to see all this expansion,” says sophomore Michael Girolometti. “I hope the school keeps on building, because it will only make the campus all the more appealing to prospective students”.
This new athletic center is located next to Campus Fields and JP’s diner. This addition adds to the other sports buildings on the north side, such as the Pitt Center and athletic fields. This will be the seventh building to open since President John Petillo became president of Sacred Heart in 2010.
“I like that the school is putting more into its campus,” said sophomore Erin Sweeney. “It would have been cool if these buildings were here when we arrived as freshman, but its still very impressive to see all of the changes and improvements.”