McCarthy Gym renovation plans announced

The University of St. Thomas today announced renovation plans for McCarthy Gym, a multipurpose athletic facility on its St. Paul campus.

Located on the portion of the St. Thomas campus that is west of Cretin Avenue,   the gym opened in 1968 primarily for the use of priests and seminarians from the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity. St. Thomas acquired the gym under a 1987 affiliation agreement between the university and the seminary.

The university will close the gym's swimming pool on April 24, and will close the entire facility on May 21.  The renovated gym is expected to reopen for use at the beginning of fall semester in early September.

The McCarthy pool will be removed and replaced with a multipurpose gym with a synthetic surface that can be used for basketball, volleyball and badminton. The renovation also will include new men's and women's locker and shower areas, weight room, and exercise and aerobics room.

McCarthy's existing basketball gym and the racquetball and handball courts will remain. The building's exterior will remain essentially unchanged.

Until recently, the university had two pools: the McCarthy Gym pool on the south campus and the 70-year-old O'Shaughnessy Hall pool on the north campus.  The O'Shaughnessy Hall pool recently was closed and the building will be demolished in preparation for the construction of the Anderson Student Center.  A new aquatic center will be part of the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex that is scheduled to open on the north campus in August.

The university will not have a pool from April 24 -- when the McCarthy pool closes -- until August, when the Anderson Athletic and Recreation Complex opens.

The McCarthy Day Camp, a summer program for youngsters, no longer will be offered. 

When the university's athletic facilities open at the end of the summer, they initially will be open to St. Thomas students, staff and faculty only. Money already paid by alumni and neighbors for use of athletic facilities for the summer months will be refunded.  Whether or not the new facilities will be open to alumni and neighbors will be decided after the facilities have opened and their level of use is assessed.

Ryan Companies Inc. of Minneapolis is the contractor for the McCarthy project.