By Kallie Sohm
With the announcement that Trevecca officials want to add up to 150 more athletes comes the question of how the campus will accommodate them with adequate practice and competition facilities.
“The number one obstacle to this [adding one or two junior varsity teams and club sports each year] is our current gymnasium,” said Dan Boone, university president.
Boone said there is a plan for expanding and improving Moore Gymnasium, but there are currently no funds or donors for the approximately $12 million project.
Space is already an issue with the current 200 athletes at Trevecca. Indoor sports share one gymnasium for all practices and home games. Outdoor sports struggle with locker room space and have few places to go if the weather is unfavorable.
The men’s and women’s track & field commute to Overton High School to practice. Men’s and women’s track, cross-country and golf do not have locker rooms.
“The other piece for us is a single weight room that is being used by the general population and athletes,” said Boone, “We just simply needed a weight room that our athletic teams can use and one that is for the general population.”
Trevecca’s current wellness facility has a maximum capacity of 75 people. This facility is intended to serve not only athletes but also the general population at Trevecca, health and wellness courses and a local group of firefighters.
Mark Elliott, athletic director, said he has concerns about the retention rate of junior varsity players and facilities play a role in that. Elliott said it is likely most Trevecca sports would not be able to give their junior varsity players lockers.
Boone explained the three-stage renovation to the 50-year-old Moore Gymnasium. The first step is to get rid of the pool on the back of the gym, replace it with a practice court and add new locker rooms for outdoor sports (baseball, softball, soccer, cross-country/field and track and golf) underneath that.
Step two will extend the front of Moore out to the street creating a two-story area which will house new athletic department offices, a new concessions area, more class rooms, more space for the sports training and a new workout facility. The third phase will deal with the middle of Moore. The sides will be extended to match the new additions. This will create new locker rooms for indoor sports and add 200-400 seats around the basketball court.
Dr. Boone said there is no start date for the project currently.
“We have to raise the money first, and we don’t have any major gifts toward the project yet,” said Boone.
Men’s basketball, women’s basketball, volleyball and intramurals share the gymnasium.
Jamie Crowley, head volleyball coach, was unavailable for comment, but Boone said he has often seen volleyball practicing at 6 a.m. because it was the only time they could reserve the gym.
Outdoor sports, softball and soccer, can also be found using gym time when the weather is unfavorable.
Ryan Schmalz, head baseball coach, said baseball often shares the indoor hitting facility with not just softball but soccer and golf as well. Schmalz said he manages scheduling for the facility.
Boone said Trevecca has to resolve practice space issues, like floor time in the gym, in order to have more athletes.
“The big question is what kind of experience can you give them [junior varsity athletes] with the limited resources that they have – the limited time, limited court space and limited field space,” said Elliott.