The Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex, 1 year old this month, is one of 12 facilities included in the 2011 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics' online Facilities Showcase. St. Thomas is the only Division III institution among the 12 featured.
The AARC’s arena concourse, field house and the Hall of Fame areas are included on the St. Thomas page.
The NACDA’s story about the AARC points out that: “On the campus of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., the days of isolated, dark and mysterious athletics venues where students enter the space not knowing what’s behind the door, or what’s going on, are gone forever. The new 180,000 square-foot Anderson Athletics & Recreation Complex (AARC) includes glass corridors, glass walls, internal windows, atriums, wide concourses and skylights making all of the venues well lit and viewable from a variety of places as students move through the building. The facility also has a unique campus logistics feature, as the main corridor of the building links the external flow of student foot traffic from the main residence hall area of campus to the student center, making the AARC a 'must-pass through' for students and student-athletes alike, ultimately bringing a renewed buzz and energy to campus.”
The facility includes a deep-water pool, basketball and volleyball arena, field house, cardio room, aerobic rooms, health and human performance testing area, locker rooms and a weight room.
The NACDA story quoted Steve Fritz: “There is no question that this university wants to be home to a top-10 Division III athletics program,” said Steve Fritz, St. Thomas’ athletics director. “The new athletics complex will give our student-athletes a top-10 facility within Division III and our recreational users unparalleled fitness opportunities.”
The AARC’s accolades have not been limited to athletic directors, students, faculty, staff and even the general public. Designers and builders also have been impressed by the building. Last March the AARC won an award from the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA).
DBIA named Opus as the regional winner of the DBIA Best Project – Private Sector Building Over $25 Million. The award represents the regional project that has best achieved success in attaining the owner’s project goals and success in implementing design-build best practices. (See Bulletin Today, March 13, 2011.)
The AARC opened its doors in October 2010 after 15 months of construction. The AARC was built with the help of a $60 million gift to the Opening Doors campaign from St. Thomas trustee Lee Anderson and his wife, Penny. The building is named in their honor.