Sutcliffe demolition

October 10, 2003

A wrecking ball began demolishing parts of 88-year-old Sutcliffe Hall on the Centre College campus Thursday to make way for a renovation project.

The building, built in 1915 and the site of the first boys' state high school basketball tournament in 1918, will approximately double in size to 122,000 square feet when the project is complete.

Lexington High School defeated Somerset 16-15 in that first basketball tournament, according to Kentucky High School Athletic Association records.

The project will renovate Alumni Gymnasium, add strength and free weight areas, add new recreational courts for multiple sports, build a new Hall of Fame, and add new locker rooms and classrooms.

The renovation and expansion of Sutcliffe will result in a 122,000-square-foot fitness, recreation, and athletic facility with 62,700 square feet in new construction and 59,300 square feet in renovated space. The work is part of the $40 million "College Centre" project, which will also renovate the Crounse Academic Center.


Named for Mrs. and Mrs. E.G. Sutcliffe, the building was last renovated in 1980 and houses all intercollegiate, intramural, recreation, and fitness activity on the campus. It was originally designed by architect Val P. Collins and was called Alumni Gymnasium.

The latest incarnation of Sutcliffe contained two gymnasiums, two racquetball courts, two fitness rooms, a ballroom, athletic training room, seven locker rooms, coaches' offices, and the offices of the Directors of Athletics and Recreation.

The ballroom, located inside Sutcliffe Hall, has hardwood flooring and served as the college's gym years ago. Today this space is the primary practice area for the athletic departments dance and cheerleading squads. It was also used during the 2000 vice-presidential debate to facilitate the needs of the media.

The College Centre project is expected to be completed in the fall of 2005.

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